Professor John D. Adams helps us understand some of the “soft” barriers to change and how to chart a path toward change by developing a critical mass of supporters for the desired change.
Change leadership is only half of the story. A movement for change requires followers, ...they rarely show up and commit to the change without considerable effort on our part.
Adams offers us some insight into three major barriers to effectively cultivating enough followers to get your change off the ground:
1) The auto-pilot mindset: Adams reminds us that this is why, even when we agree that a change must be made, we often don’t follow through with a new way of doing things.
…training is not the goal. The goal is the goal.
2) Bias toward training: Of course, training is essential for change . However, the training does not accomplish the change — it simply lays the groundwork. …Confusing the training with the change is a common mistake.
The training is not the goal. The goal is the goal.
3) Absence of support for novelty management: Change automatically brings …uncertainty…anxiety…distress…surprise, unfamiliarity, uncertainty. …Many leaders forget to support people through the emotional challenges that novelty can bring.
People will need new information, a chance to learn new skills, time to develop attitudes and values that support the change, and rewards for adopting the change. Being deliberate and patient in these areas will help speed the change along.
PREACH TO YOUR CHOIR. ... “...creating a critical mass of people …who will ensure that the change process becomes self-sustaining.”
Perhaps the most important message Adams offers is this: PREACH TO YOUR CHOIR....it is actually “the most important mechanism for creating a critical mass of people who are solidly behind a change program and who will ensure that the change process becomes self-sustaining.”
…the easiest path is to start with those who are willing to get on board immediately. Don’t take them for granted; stay focused on them to build momentum.
Related tools & posts by Deb:
- Stay in touch with Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's NINE multi-gold award winning curation streams from @Deb Nystrom, REVELN delivered once a month via email, available for free here, via REVELN Tools.
- Are you local to SE Michigan? Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.