Change Leadership Secret – 30 – People Make Poor Computers

Change Leadership — Secret # 30
People Make Poor Computers

I am indeed amazed when I consider how weak my mind is and how prone to error.
—Rene Descartes

What I Need to Know

After performing a discovery of the person’s life and change spaces, you would have a keen understanding of your customer and a model of all the forces influencing the organization. That could be a bit bewildering. But that is exactly what the customer is facing—a bewildering array of forces and options.

As I mentioned previously, all of those forces will ultimately add and subtract until there is essentially one force, the “resultant force” that represents the total.
Resultant Force={driving forces}+{resisting forces}

Similarly, all the changes would result in one net change, called the “resultant change.” For example, if you take two steps to the right, one step forward, one step to the left, and one step backward, then the net change is one step to the right.
Resultant Change= ∑▒Changes

The people in the organization are like computers, constantly calculating and recalculating these equations determining the net forces they feel and the responses they will make.

But alas, people are not computers. Many business scholars have written about how poorly human beings make these calculations. In an effort to simplify the computations, people make many false judgments, assumptions, and conclusions.

What I Need to Do

Use your understanding of the customer’s life and change spaces to predict what changes he may want to make.

Because people’s computational capacity is not perfect, their calculations will generate different results, even if they use the same input. Therefore, develop various scenarios for how they may view their life space and change space.

Of course, it would be far easier simply to ask the customer for his views—and you should. But getting a customer to disclose parts of his personality that he himself may not fully understand can be difficult.
Also, in order to fully understand and predict your customer’s behaviors, you have to try to put yourself in his mind, anyway.

Last, never assume you can predict behavior with 100 percent accuracy. People will surprise you when you least expect it. So, always have contingencies.

Action Summary

  • Remember that most people find it difficult to “compute” the forces in their lives.
  • Add value by helping the customer sort through the forces.
  • Use your understanding to predict behavior and desired changes.
Change Leadership Secret - 30 People Make Poor Computers
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About Brett Clay

Clay is the author of “Selling Change,” named the best business book and best sales book of 2010, and is the CEO of Change Leadership Group, LLC, a firm that helps clients improve their sales, marketing, and leadership capabilities. A veteran of 20 years in international sales and marketing management, most recently with Microsoft Corporation, he is an award-winning author, award-winning marketer, trainer, speaker, consultant, and business leader.

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