Can Your Organization Change?

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Can Your Organization Change?

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Organizations often express a strong desire for change, but what that really means is that they want others to change. Can your organization and its people transform?

organization change appreciative inquiry

A friend invites another friend to join the exercise program.

A doctor tells a patient to take the medicine.

A business owner expresses that the team should gain additional skills.

No desire, no change. No action, no change. No new habits, a new tradition, or development of a new cultural method, and nothing changes.

External forces can drive change. Economic conditions, government regulations, and technological advances are all great examples.

Internal forces typically only create lasting change when it is required by external forces or it is desirable internally. Then those actions or behaviors become a habit, a tradition, or a method of operation that employee teams might suggest as, “The way things are done.”

So for organizational transformation the development of skills only represents part of the challenge. The other part might exist somewhere in the creation of desire.

If you want to create the desire that will transform your organization and its people here are a few things to consider.

  • Connect ideas to outcomes. Talking about change doesn’t always illustrate it. Connecting the dots for everyone and having a clear picture of the outcomes and associated benefits will help create the desire to endure the requirements for change.
  • Create paths for growth. People are part of the system. The system will need the opportunity for individual growth. You might know what’s in it for the organization, but what’s in it for the individual people? Prove it.
  • Reward performance not compliance. Teams can become stale, stalled, and stuck. Often this develops because the reinforcement is for following the rules not for executing with high performance. When you make the focus on performance you’ll get more.

Scaring people into change might work, but it is never recommended. Fear can have a significant impact on performance, but motivation through fear typically creates an “us against them” culture. That’s not inspirational or desirable and some might even suggest that it is bullying.

Organizations and the people within its systems can invite, tell, or express a desire for change, but it’s only going to happen when the individuals who are part of those systems develop both the skills and the desire, and then continue to replicate them across time. The most success will occur when everyone is bought-in.

Many organizations talk about change.

Your organization can change, but will it?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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