Deep ideas and radical change require time and thought to truly take hold. You have to remain patient and give your employees time and space to carefully consider the idea. Bring them along the journey on their own time, not your time.
I have always used the analogy of planting seeds for change management. You start by talking about an idea or plan for change. Drop hints and have discussions with random people. Slowly introduce them to the change or idea, allow them to digest it, ask questions, think about the “what-if’s” and the consequences. Urgency and immediacy can be a true enemy to this process. You have to germinate the seeds before they can take root.
Once the seeds have germinated you can gain buy-in and acceptance from early adopters, they act as fertilizer to help the seeds grow more quickly. The early adopters are your unofficial leaders in the group, perhaps the more tenured staff on your team. This will allow the seedling to sprout.
Now that the thought or idea has germinated, been fertilized and is sprouting it is time to pollinate. Your early adopters have influenced their immediate level of followers and now those followers will influence their immediate level.
All that remains for you to do is to water, weed and prune. You water by rewarding those who have demonstrated signs of acceptance. You weed through continuous coaching of those who are not adhering. You prune by removing those who are sabotaging the idea or change.
Urgency and immediacy is the enemy of a deep idea or radical change. Using the same method for getting a seed to become a beautiful flower, you will be able to persuade your team to make the change a success.
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