Windmills or Walls?
There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says ‘When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and, others build windmills.’
There’s been plenty of evidence of both since the pandemic tore through the world as we knew it 18 months ago and turned our lives upside down. Is your business ready to build windmills to leverage the energy creating change, or are you trying to build walls to resist it?
If you’re building windmills it’s important to ensure that everybody in your business is on board with the challenge and willing to take action to facilitate the agreed outcome. We use a process called KUBA at Xpotential to gain emotional and intellectual engagement on most projects we are involved with.
Know: People need to KNOW what they are supposed to do. We need to explain what we are trying to achieve. What do they need to do?
Understand: We need to make sure people UNDERSTAND what we expect from them. Why are we doing this? Why is it essential to our organisation and for each person involved?
Believe: We need to help them BELIEVE they can do it and that it’s important. We need to provide the correct information and guidance.
Act: Only when you have these in place will you get action! Now you will have people who are proactive, engaged, collaborative and willing to provide the discretionary effort needed to get change happening.
The days of top-down directives have long gone, you must mobilise your people behind a shared vision; companies that are slow to realise this will find themselves in the shadow of others windmills!
CHANGE: It’s Not Smooth Sailing For All of Us
Change can be uncomfortable & confronting; for some people letting go of past behaviours & learning new ones can be challenging. Understanding the process of behaviour change may help you support those in your business who find change difficult. These people can sometimes come across as being negative and stubborn, when in fact, they are simply terrified!
The COM-B model suggests that for a new behaviour to occur, three necessary conditions must exist:
Capabilities (C) Defined as a person’s physical and psychological capacity to engage in the desired behaviour. A person needs to have the necessary knowledge & skills to complete the action.
Opportunities (O) Defined as the factors in the person’s environment that make that behaviour possible or prompt it. This includes the physical & social opportunity.
Motivation (M) Defined as that individual’s need or want to complete the behaviour.
‘The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails’ – William Arthur Ward.
Whether you are a pessimist, optimist or realist – it takes a crew to navigate the stormy seas of change!