Change Leadership Secret – 49 – Choose Changes Wisely

Change Leadership — Secret # 49
Choose Changes Wisely

To wish to progress is the largest part of progress.
—Lucius Annaeus Seneca (1st century A.D.)

What I Need to Know

Once a person has coped with the forces in her life space and has either removed or is operating within the constraints of her cognitive biases, she must form a view of her change space. In other words, she must develop a set of possible changes and select one. There are many ways to model the change space in organizations. The change leader will need to pick the model that is most applicable to the organization and situation under consideration.

One model that is instructive is the Four Forces of the Change Leadership Framework, depicted by the illustration on the opposite page. The three arrows represent three forces: environmental factors, behavioral tendencies, and cognitive strategies. The triangle in the middle represents two concepts.

First, it represents the force of internal needs and serves as a reminder of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, starting at the bottom with physiological needs and rising to the pinnacle of the triangle with self-actualization. The triangle is at the center of the diagram to indicate that internal needs play the central role in a person’s life space. This is further emphasized by the three arrows circling the triangle.

The other idea represented by the triangle is the Greek letter Delta, which symbolizes “change” in mathematics. So the triangle also reminds us that the Four Forces are always driving change.

Use the Four Forces Model to develop a list of possible changes and then to weigh the tradeoffs.

What I Need to Do

First, make sure you have characterized the customer’s change response such that you have a good understanding of the person’s change capacity and behaviors.

Then, help the customer develop a set of possible ways of responding to the forces he feels. It might be insightful to think of the various options as plane tickets having points of departure, destinations, prices, and availability.

For each option, determine the changes in each dimension of the Four Forces model that will be required to support the change. Also, there is a fifth dimension that should not be overlooked—changing the cognitive structure, which means changing the person’s perception of the force, rather than the force itself.

As the customer considers the various options, try to help the customer visualize the new situation as if watching a movie. Many people do not bother to “see” how the movie ends and then select options with less than ideal outcomes. Help your customer play the movie to the end and to choose options with good endings.

Action Summary

  • Map out the changes options.
  • Determine forces required to support each option.
  • Visualize the change as a movie and “play” the movie to the end.
Change Leadership Secret - 49 Choose Changes Wisely
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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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