Q: What are your thoughts on how to inspire people that have done things a particular way for 30+ years to WANT to change?
A: First, I would embrace the IBL principle “act your way to new thinking, not think your way to new action.” The idea is simply take some small action and start to embed it. You don’t need the team to change their minds, you only need them to commitThe play where we decide what we intend to do and dedicate ourselves to action. to new actions. It can be helpful to tell them the old ways weren’t necessary wrong but are not as optimal, for now.
Second, think of Blockbuster, Kodak, Polaroid, and VHS executives -they were stuck in “proveThe Industrial Age play where demonstration of competency or avoiding exposure of incompetency is paramount. Prove is the domain of the “Be Good” self. and perform” mindset which attached their ego to the past work they did. They were trying to protect the “be good” selfThe part of the self that wants to project and protect an image of competence in the world, deserving of praise and recognition. The “Be Good” self needs to be tamed in order to play the improve play.. They needed to invoke the “get better” selfThe part of the self that wants to grow and get better. The get better self yearns for learning and is seeking and curious. The “Get Better” self needs to be active for the improve play. but couldn’t do it because their focus was internal and from behind their own eyes. They needed to get out from behind their own eyeballs and look back at themselves and the organization.
Third, when looking to improveThe play at the end of redwork where we pause to reflect on what we have learned. Improve comes from reflection of the past and modification of current plans, process, designs in order to do or make something better in the future. Improve is the domain of the “Get Better” self. work use the ImproveThe play at the end of redwork where we pause to reflect on what we have learned. Improve comes from reflection of the past and modification of current plans, process, designs in order to do or make something better in the future. Improve is the domain of the “Get Better” self. play. This play rest on a mental focus that is: future focused, outward from ourselves, on the process (not the people), and on achieving excellence not avoiding errors.
Other thoughts- “inspiring” is really coercion in disguise. You want to get people on board with something you’ve decided they need to do. Don’t CoerceThe Industrial Age play where we goad, manipulate, order, motivate, inspire, or threaten people to do what we want them to. Using influence, power, rank, talking first, talking more, or talking louder to bring people around to your way of thinking. Coercion sounds like: I need you to be a team player. Everyone needs to get on board. It’s time to fall in line. We are ready to go, right? The new play for leaders is Collaborate., CollaborateThe play where we learn from others thereby making our product, ideas, and lives better. This play requires us to share ideas, be vulnerable, respect the ideas of others, and admit to ourselves that we don’t have the whole picture. Collaborate sounds like: What does everyone think? How safe is it? What do you see that I don’t? . When the people doing the work also get to decide on how they do the work, they make a commitment, internally, because they chose it. Also, remember “Small Steps.” When doing any kind of change, make the changes in small steps.