May 28, 2010
-- When they would like people to modify, they try to teach them something. They think if my Dad understood the health complications obesity causes, he’d eat healthier. Or if my teenager understood the danger of texting & driving, she’d quit it. The issue is this: Knowledge never leads to modify.
Look at the warnings on cigarette packs. “Cigarettes release carbon monoxide.” Do they think smokers basically don’t know that cigarettes are bad for them? A lack of knowledge isn’t the issue. Or take a company like GM. For years, people were warning its execs that the company was dependent on large SUVs & trucks, that it was falling behind other companies in innovation. A lack of knowledge wasn’t the issue. & mothers & fathers all over the place try to warn their kids that perhaps a large tattoo isn’t such a nice suggestion. Nice luck in that fight, Knowledge.
The same goes for organizational modify. When they would like our employees to move in a brand spanking new direction, they try to educate them. They call them together & project a 72-slide PowerPoint. John Kotter, one of the top gurus on organizational modify, say that most people think modify happens in seven stages. You analyze the situation, & you think hard about the solution, & then you modify. But they says that’s never the way modify happens. They says that in his experience, it’s a different three-stage process: people SEE something that makes them FEEL something that gives them the fire to CHANGE. SEE-FEEL-CHANGE.
So in the event you need people to modify, you’ve got to put feeling first. Back to those cigarette packs. In some countries, they do a better job tapping in to emotion. In Germany, their packs say, Smoking kills. In Canada, they do even better. Check out this photograph [visual: disagreeable teeth]. If you’re a 16-year-old, it may appear icy to smoke, but I’ll tell you what’s not icy: rotting yellow teeth. That hits you in the gut. Or check out this commercial: Smoking causes impotence. That hits you somewhere else.
In the event you need your colleagues to modify, start thinking about the way you can get them to feel something. Perhaps you bring them face-to-face with customers who are underserved right now, & that sparks their empathy. Perhaps you force them to confront how much better your competitors’
products are, & that makes them annoyed & competitive. don’t think your job is completed after you’ve shared some knowledge.
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