Talking to people about change at work is always fascinating. Quite often the pace of external events, the drama of people changing roles, and the need to learn very rapidly, can turn the most articulate into the breathless and incoherent.
When it all overwhelms us, we tend to fall back to our default stuff that we do well. Psychologists will go around rabidly empathizing, accountants will go around auditing, and system developers will redesign systems and processes. What we won’t always do is distil our critical message down into nuggets, easily assimilated by many.
So this is post is about just that: the minimum content to get talk of change to stick.
Theme and Tagline
Just like web design, our change description needs theme or tagline, conveying core offer. These can be stripped down to ‘fun and frolics’ ‘ creating intelligent value’ ‘ facilitating efficiency’ or ‘help yourself to work psychology’. Verbs and nouns are best: verbs convey dynamism, and nouns, significance.
Just like reality tv, all change needs to take us on a journey. So the from…….to…….. spaces need filling in. This is the transformation element, the Cinderella aspect and activity and role play description often helps. For instance: ‘ From regulator to good practice expert’ or ‘Your fashion supplier becomes your fashion editor’ or ‘Web novice no more…become a web Mother Superior’.
We can apply role change to both organizational and our own personal change. If there is humanized and vivid element in here: ‘Oh my god , I will get off my soap box now very soon!’ so much the stickier…
To know change has worked, those involved will need to experience and see behaviour change. To avoid overload, 3 behaviour changes at most are enough. ‘So we’d like to see information-exchanging, recommending and supporting going on internally’ for instance, sets up what’s required. Or ‘ what this system brings is shorter processing time and value through less oversight’. One change may suffice: ‘ Your visits to my blog make our world a more interesting place’
But of course us hearing our behaviour needs to change has very limited results: we need to sample and taste the change to want more.
Just like sticky toffee pudding.