Change that sticks. Finally.


Posted May 1, 2015

How do you know if personal development (or leadership development or team development) actually works? And what do we mean when we say “it works”?

I believe there are two different categories of answers, first “we get what we measure” and secondly “things takes time”:

We get what we measure:

If you are going to run a change program in your organisation, look at what you want to achieve, how you will know if you succeed and how you measure progress towards the goal. It is not trivial to figure this out, and it may take some effort to agree about the criteria for success and even the goal of the program. But isn’t it better to spend some time up front deciding what you want to achieve and how you will know if you succeeded instead of wasting money on a program where you don’t know the ROI?

Things take time:

If you are going to run a change program in your organisation, accept that changes takes time. The human mind is a wonderful thing, and the more we understand about how it works and how our minds work together, the more we understand about how change happens in organisations.

Real change needs to be systemic and embedded.

Systemic: you want to work with the whole organisation, the whole team, business unit or department.

Embedded: you want to make sure that the change – and the ability to change – has been embedded. When the consultants have left the building, the tools, theories and practises have been transferred to your organisation. You don’t want “magicians” coming in, doing their stuff and leaving your organisation in awe and wonder.

Imagine a tub full of cold water.  If you want to change the temperature by adding hot water, you wouldn’t add just a small cup at a time. Yet this is how a lot of leadership and organisational development happens. Training individual leaders separate from their teams is like trying to heat up a cold bath by adding small cups of hot water. An effective modern approach is to work systemically – introducing whole buckets of hot water to warm up the tub.

Re-humanising the workplace is about unleashing the collective intelligence of people at all levels of the organisation, enabling them to have Great Conversations together and fulfil their leadership potential.  Great Conversations are at the core of great leadership that creates great results.

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