Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Environment of Change – 3 Critical Steps

Changing habits or behaviors is difficult…just ask anyone who has ever been on a diet or who has reneged on their New Year’s resolutions.

But if you can modify the environment so that the new behavior is positively reinforced, change is more likely to be successful.

  1. Rewards and punishments. The old carrot and stick theory is still around because it works (as long as it is in place). In the workplace, you can effect change more quickly if you offer incentives for the positive behavior you want and consequences for the negative behavior you want people to avoid.

  2. Models. Identify those in the workplace who are generally admired. If you can persuade them of the need for the behavior change and secure their authentic cooperation, you have a role model for others to emulate. Key influencers can encourage organizational change far more effectively than an executive decree.

  3. Offer support. Once you have identified the behavior change you seek, be sure to provide targeted and relevant skill development, project opportunities and the coaching that will support the new behaviors.

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