“Most of us change not because we see the light but because we feel the heat,” says Don Neal, Founder and CEO of 360 Live Media. Organizations world wide are feeling the heat from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This raises many questions. Is it hot enough to cause your organization to change? Are your changes limited to spots where you “feel” the burn? How permanent are changes you’ve made. For example, are you just using virtual meetings through Zoom or Microsoft Teams until everyone can be back onsite everyday? Use caution when discounting changes as temporary or “until this blows over.”

Change is uncomfortable, scary, and difficult. We’ve seen the demise from companies that failed to do it. Toys R Us failed to respond to the heat from big box retailers and online competition. They went from 800 stores to two. Kodak was one of the most powerful companies in the world during their heyday. Ask a Millenial or Gen Z-er about their most recent “Kodak moment.” I can only imagine the confused look you will see on their face.

If prestigious, powerful companies failed to change, then how can I? One can imagine the huge salary Toys R Us and Kodak could’ve paid an executive to lead change. Jonah Berger reveals the keys to driving change in his recent book, “The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind.” He makes it clear that pushing change with brute force is simply ineffective. Instead the keys are to reduce barriers.

Barriers to change comes in many forms as well as shapes and sizes.

  • It could feel too far from the status quo for your team to believe it is possible. Imagine how teachers felt when some of the largest school districts in the United States announced the fall semester would be online only.
  • It could impact the way people are accustomed to doing something. A local gym offered fitness classes in 8-week sessions and required members to register at the beginning of the session. Their new app required members to register for classes day by day. There were many “Silver Sneakers” members that did not want or like the change.
  • There could be uncertainty about the outcome of the change. I used Microsoft products exclusively for two decades. Imagine the uncertainty when I needed to switch to the Google platform as I launched my own business.

In the last blog, I challenged you to identify the change(s) your organization needs to embrace and the barriers to it. What are those changes and barriers?

It becomes challenging to identify these when you’ve developed expertise in your sector or “you’ve always done it this way.” We often become myopic as the day to day challenges such as social distancing, wearing masks, etc. consume our cognitive energy. Click here to schedule a FREE session where I can help you identify change(s) needed and the barrier(s) to making it.

Becoming a catalyst or change agent means becoming more of a matchmaker according to Berger. Here are three questions to help you begin finding the best suited tools to remove roadblocks:

  1. What step moves the organization closer to the desired outcome?
  2. What is a compelling cost you can share with your team for failing to change “the way we have always done it?”
  3. What change can you pilot on a small scale to test the uncertainty with the ability to easily revert back if the outcome is undesirable?

Click here to register for a FREE roadblock removal planning session.