How to Rock a Change Initiative

When looking at why change initiatives fail, we can learn a lot from the world of music. When a musician hasn’t produced the best he or she has to offer during the recording process, you often will hear the phrase, “Fix it in the mix,” tossed around the studio. The idea is that the producer somehow will make it better while mixing the album after all the tracks are recorded. What actually happens is a painstaking process of cutting up takes into tiny parts and piecing them together to “create” a better product then what actually was recorded. This is a time- and money-consuming process that never produces the “lightning in a bottle” moment everyone desires.

Leaders spend far too much time “fixing it in the mix” and not nearly enough time demanding the type of quality needed to produce great results. Getting the best out of someone requires more time in “pre-production.” Pre-production is what happens months before ever stepping into the studio. This is where you answer the “who, what, where, when, and why” of the record.

When trying to navigate change, we often are so focused on the “how” that we don’t do the crucial advance work needed to produce the desired results. To successfully rock a change initiative, focus on the following:

Identifying Core Values
As a leader, helping your people identify their core values has arguably the greatest impact on the work at hand. When someone owns the four or five core values that matter most to them, it enables them to:

  1. Identify misalignment much faster
  2. Make better decisions
  3. Bring meaningful solutions to the table

Identifying core values also prevents you from becoming anyone’s personal accountability officer. When we know what matters most to us, we can hold ourselves accountable.

Navigating Feelings in the Moment
Feelings are powerful motivators for making decisions. By allowing ourselves to see how we “feel” about the change, we are able to honestly identify our level of commitment. Change is easy when our feelings are aligned with our values. It’s the common tug of war between the two that makes change often feel impossible and challenges our commitment to the initiative in play. By focusing on helping our people understand their feelings and empowering them to align their core values, we amplify their commitment and give our change initiatives the best chance of succeeding

©2022 Brant Menswar  All rights reserved.


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