“Effective leaders help others to understand the necessity of change and to accept a common vision of the desired outcome.” -John Kotter
Brian Tracy has been a business consultant for many years. Prior to becoming the CEO and chairman of Brian Tracy International, Brian was the CEO of a company managing business development processes for clients, and before that, he had a booming career in sales and marketing, management and strategic planning. As a result, he has been able to develop a wealth of information about training and developing world class organizations.
Many businesses will use incentives or constructive criticism to encourage change. This often is ineffective on an individual level and can focus too much on the negative. Instead, Brian Tracy suggests getting at the heart of the problem – and look at the psychology of the staff.
What is change? Change is essentially anything that’s going on within a company that’s transforming its people, process or technology. It may cause stress or discomfort and may demand new things from the staff. Our brains are automatically configured to have negative feelings, instead of positive ones about change. This focus on the negative requires a critical focus on communication.
The “Aha!” moment is necessary within the communication process as a way of bringing employees on board. Once they understand that change is good they will embrace and own the changes – which is the desired outcome.
If employees are to embrace change, they have to be part of the process. Brian Tracy has addressed over five million people over the past 30 years and discussed how change and the exchange of ideas go hand in hand. He suggests a creative process, which means involving the employees and asking for their feedback. This can come in the form of focus groups, employee meetings or round tables.
When employees are part of the change and not simply told by senior management what is going on, the change is embraced more successfully. The question is no longer “what is change?” but “why is the change required?” When businesses can answer this question, there is less resistance to change.
Companies small and large have been able to benefit from Brian Tracy's teaching on change management. They understand how to involve employees and how to communicate effectively so that employees don’t experience the anxiety that is often associated with corporate changes. Communicating change is very different from anything else because of the brain’s natural reaction. Therefore, it’s more about the psychology of the changes than it is about the changes themselves.
We can learn a lot from the way Brian Tracy looks at change management. Practical steps we can use for communication of changes:
- Start your change management initiatives with quick wins or low hanging fruit.
- Repeatedly communicate positive messages about the change being considered on an ongoing basis.
- Compartmentalize projects and tasks to ensure all focus areas are covered.
- Brainstorm ideas amongst your staff members on how to adopt and embrace change.
- Develop a reliable system for change that will produce predictable results.
- Be creative in the presentation of materials to encourage change.
- Understand that change management is different than transition management.
- Be flexible and adjust as needed.
Principles of Execution Key Concepts:
- Change Management
- Strategic Planning
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