Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 7

leadingchange

Change, One Person at a Time
Mike Collins

I

f you don't get anything else from this short article, get
the idea that individuals must change before organizations
can change. Said a different way, what you hope is that
one or a few individuals change a little or a lot, and then
another individual changes, and then a few more, and a few
more, and sooner-or later-the organization is recognized to
have changed.
But, how do you get yourself and others to change? Even when
the change is a good thing people struggle to move out of the
path of least resistance lane and into the change lane.
Here are seven steps to encouraging change that can work
with a whole range of individual personalities:
First, what's the change? No matter how clearly you
explain the change there will be people who hear and say,
"Whaaaaaat?" Different people learn in different ways, so have
a number of different ways to explain the change.
Next, tell people what they've been doing right. Everything
isn't wrong or bad. Catching people doing things right
encourages their self-esteem.
Third, help people understand the consequences of not
changing, but be careful about overstating the bad stuff.
And then, tell them the benefits of changing, but don't
overstate the good stuff.
On these last two points you're in luck if you have children.
Think about what happens when they misbehave and you
overstate the bad stuff (We're shipping you to Siberia if you
leave the front door open again!). When the inevitable stumble
happens you're not packing all their winter clothes and making
air reservations to Russia. The problem is when you don't live
up to the threats the kids think, "All that bad stuff they talked
about won't happen." Same goes for the good stuff.
The fifth step is my favorite. Tell and, if possible, show people
what done looks like; when they get to the finish line what
will it be like? Studies show that when marathoners see the
finish line more adrenaline pumps through their bodies and
their outlook is exceedingly positive. Some folks simply need
to know what, where and when the goal is reached and they'll
pick up the pace.
The sixth step is to be honest with people about the obstacles
they will face. During the early days of NASA, when John Glenn
was the first American astronaut to orbit the earth and was
scheduled for 16 orbits. Early into his third orbit a malfunction
in his capsule was detected. NASA scientists wanted to

"They say that time changes
things, but you actually have
to change them yourself."
Andy Warhol
continue the mission, but Glenn's fellow astronauts said, "You
tell a pilot the condition of his craft." He was brought back to
Earth at the end of the third orbit. Be honest with adults about
what they will face.
Finally, reveal the plan for making the change. Will you get
some push-back? Absolutely! Will some folks support the plan?
Probably! Discussion about the plan is a good thing because it
shows transparency; letting people in on what is going on.
Will everyone like the change and the plan? Probably not. Will
they respect you for treating them as adults? Yes, and some,
grudgingly so. Will they all jump on the bandwagon? Doubtful;
some will need more encouragement and some squatters will
not change.
Major and minor organizational changes always have heroes
and casualties. So, for the ones who step up, support the
change (even grudgingly) and move ahead, appreciate them
and catch them doing something right. For some of the
squatters, it might be time to have another type of change
conversation with them.
Good luck! z

Mike Collins is President and Founder
of The Perfect Workday Company. His
program, "I Didn't Sign On for This!
Dealing With Constant Change in
the Workplace and in Life," has been
rated "excellent" by a wide range
of corporations, associations and
government agencies.
Mike can be reached at 919.645.8497,
mike@perfectworkday.com or
perfectworkday@icloud.com.
march/april 2017

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success

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Success By Association - March/April 2017

President’s Message
Event Calendar
Change, One Person at a Time
What I Learned as an Employment Attorney: Non-Legal Advice to Get You Out of Legal Hot Water
Is Your Hiring Filter in the Way?
Freedom Comes From Rules
Cost/Benefit of an Organization Retreat
Polish Up Your Confict-of-Interest Policy
Legislative Reception a Success!
Getting the Leadership Basics Right
Member Updates
Should They Stay or Should They Go? (With Apologies to the Clash)
Young Leader Profile
Advertiser Index
Buyers’ Guide
Advertiser Showcase
Executive Director’s Message
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover1
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover2
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 3
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - President’s Message
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Event Calendar
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 6
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Change, One Person at a Time
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - What I Learned as an Employment Attorney: Non-Legal Advice to Get You Out of Legal Hot Water
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 9
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Is Your Hiring Filter in the Way?
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Freedom Comes From Rules
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Cost/Benefit of an Organization Retreat
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 13
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Polish Up Your Confict-of-Interest Policy
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 15
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Legislative Reception a Success!
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 17
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 18
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 19
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Getting the Leadership Basics Right
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 21
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Member Updates
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 23
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Should They Stay or Should They Go? (With Apologies to the Clash)
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 25
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Young Leader Profile
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Advertiser Index
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Buyers’ Guide
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Advertiser Showcase
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Executive Director’s Message
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover3
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover4
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