Tag Archives: buy-in

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Easy change

Easy Change May Be Only a Workplace Dream

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Are you expecting an easy change? Are your expectations realistic? What is the biggest challenge?

People are always trying to create buy-in for their point of view or path. They often view their way as the best, the only, and of course, obviously, the correct path.

Being Correct

We see it in politics. One side has a set of values and beliefs, the other side differs.

Businesses spend precious hours debating change.

There are even two sides to probable outcomes from a debate.

One side suggests that a lack of debate leads to complacency, so we must debate. The other side suggests that debates only create winners and losers so be cautious of your approach to entertaining debates among teams.

Who is correct?

Easy Change

The CEO often urges middle management, “Go get buy-in for this change!” How do you create buy-in? Do you tell people what to think?

Leadership may mean telling a story. Bringing the situation to life. Allowing for reflection which promotes experiential learning. This act of telling can be very compelling.

Did someone say it was easy?

Certainly, it depends somewhat on the circumstances. We have a lot of small scale change each day. So small it probably goes unnoticed. It’s the big changes that throw up flags.

Getting buy-in for change often starts with belief. It may be the belief that it is necessary. The belief that it will make things better. In nearly all cases, the best belief is that it will work.

Change gets easier when the path is clearer. The path to any great accomplishment starts with belief.

The hardest part of change may be changing minds.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace patience

The Short Supply of Workplace Patience

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Most workplace teams are driven by time. As individuals many people express a need for improving their time management skills. Do your employee teams illustrate workplace patience?

Often when the conversation of patience emerges there is a contradictory feeling connected with speed, pace, or customer expectations. It is true, time does tend to directly connect with money.

Should patience be a core value?

I often suggest to groups and teams that it should.

Patience is a learned skill. Patience should be practiced to be improved. A lack of patience costs.

Cost of Workplace Patience

There are at least two forms of cost connected with a lack of patience.

One cost is the work completed in a hurry or through haste that is inferior. The idea is, the more quantity across time, the better. Of course, the quality needs to be a recognized factor.

The other cost is more intangible. It is the cost of a lack of engagement, lower morale, bad attitudes, employee absenteeism and turnover.

When employee teams see a team assignment slacking, they may jump in to pick up the pieces. In many cases, this is important and a sign of good teamwork.

The other side of this is that an employee who doesn’t fully participate often lacks buy-in. As a result of not being bought-in they become more disengaged. They may take a back seat, the easy road, all the while knowing that whatever they don’t accomplish, someone else will do.

Time Factor

The mindset and performance of people is hard to measure with time.

Give ten different employees an individual assignment and not all ten will finish at the same time.

Easy enough to understand. Yet if we monitor the performance of the fastest seven or eight and then pull the plug on the assignment, we know the unfinished two or three are somewhat disconnected.

Simple enough.

Is there an adequate supply of patience in your teams? How do you balance quality and quantity? Have you measured the impact of a shortage of patience?

Sometimes everybody needs a little patience. Just trying to get it right.

-DEG

H/T (Patience, is a 1989 song released by the band Guns-n-Roses. It included the lyric, “Just trying to get it right.”)

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace speed

Workplace Speed, Advantage or Disadvantage?

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Are there consequences to workplace speed?

Hurry to finish that project. Skip lunch and work late, it must be finished by tomorrow morning. Don’t read the directions, it is a waste of time.

It seems that everyone knows time is money. Additionally, most would quickly suggest that productivity and efficiency are key indicators for success.

Is speed always an advantage?

It probably always boils down to one question, “What are you giving up?”

Workplace Speed

Most pros have a con, most cons a pro. Speed may not always be the most valuable factor in your workplace contribution.

Here are five examples:

1. Finish the project in the final hours.

Pro: Less waste if the project becomes unnecessary. Allows changes up to the final minute.

Con: Procrastination may lead to inferior work. Not enough time was allocated. Mistakes made by being hurried.

2. No talking, just work.

Pro: Assumed productivity increases. Working means movement, movement means results.

Con: Failed or ineffective communication creates rejected work or rework.

3. Email is a waste of time; a quick scan will suffice.

Pro: The box is checked. Email is read and return email actions are up-to-date. Time saved by scanning.

Con: Scanning creates miscommunication. Critical or vital information is missed or assumptions are made.

4. Don’t ask any questions just get started.

Pro: No time wasted reviewing details that may not be relevant for the work at hand.

Con: Misunderstandings create a bad customer experience. Incomplete or inaccurate work creates additional waste.

5. Faster workers finish slower workers assignments.

Pro: It is teamwork. This is a team. Everyone contributes what they can.

Con: Demotivating to those who put in more effort. Slower workers use this as a crutch for everyday behavior.

Have you recognized the advantages and disadvantages of workplace speed?

Perhaps patience should be a core team value.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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forced change

Forced Change Doesn’t Work As Well As Consensus

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Change surrounds us. It may be hard to find an argument with that idea. However, does forced change ever really work? Can you force a change?

Certainly, there are external forces of change. We have technology forcing change, government regulations may force change, and even shifting economic conditions are likely to force change.

Managing Change

How do you manage forced change? Can it be managed? Does forced change happen internally?

There are always both external and internal forces putting pressure on organizations to change. The outcome of pressure applied is reactionary change.

We all realize that reaction may not be as good being proactive.

When we present ideas, concepts, and new directions we are hoping for change. Does the debate at the water cooler invoke change? What about the private discussion after the staff meeting? Does that bring about change?

Fighting for Change

It is easy to find disagreement. It is easy to pick a fight.

A culture of, “We fight about it.” may bring about some change, but it may not be the change you had in mind.

While external forces cause change for organizations, internal change or buy-in may require a completely different strategy.

Decision by consensus is different from persuasion, it is different from majority vote. Forced ideas seldom lead to consensus. Debates, arguments, or fights seldom create buy-in.

Forced Change

Some people will always go with the flow. They’ll follow the crowd. Fence sitters can go either way but often watch for the path of the majority. People with strong views can transition to extreme views as their influence grows.

Picking a fight and creating a divide is likely not what you have in mind. Forced change is often only the residue from the attempt, the bitterness that teams harbor and relive over and over in their minds.

If you want positive change and an intact team you’re going to have to use skillful navigation to create the buy-in. Forced change doesn’t work.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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invited feedback

Invited Feedback Is The Secret For Change

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You have experience and experience matters. When you see questions as an opportunity for feedback you jump in to give it. Feedback is often only valuable if it is invited feedback, everything else is just noise.

It can be frustrating, as a parent, a workplace leader, or a special adviser to the committee. When you have something to offer but there is not an invitation for feedback. Do you need an invitation or can you just jump in?

Jumping In

In the feedback process much is lost if the feedback doesn’t align. If you don’t understand the problem or situation your feedback may lack value and feel like a waste of time.

It is why arriving at the meeting on time is so important. Show up late, chime in even though you’ve missed the opening remarks, and everyone but you clearly can see that you don’t understand the situation. Worthless and a waste of everyone’s time.

Feedback is often conditioned by belief. If you believe that more exercise clears your mind and makes you healthy telling someone who hates to exercise may not be welcomed.

This is true for many things. It is true when you tell people to read more, listen more, or even in religious contexts, when the advice is to pray. When it doesn’t resonate with you it is not welcomed feedback.

Invited Feedback

Some people don’t care about fitness, and they don’t want to read. Forcing your ideas of engagement will create a disconnect, and worse, it may feel like a complete waste of time.

The secret then to successful feedback has at least two important factors.

First, you must understand the situation and you do this more effectively when you seek facts and assume less. And you must be able to bridge gaps in understanding and beliefs.

Invited feedback happens when there is a connection. People embrace change when they are bought-in.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Interesting Story

Interesting Story, Now I Get It

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People have told stories for thousands of years. Is story telling the way we learn, grow, and become more successful? Do you have an interesting story?

Story Value

Go to any museum and you may wonder about the story. The artifacts are there, they are clearly visible and on display. We can often read a short version of history on a plaque or push a button to get an audio version. This helps us connect, but we still don’t always know the story.

If we are shopping for a used car, we may want to know the story. When we go to a new small town, or a mom and pop restaurant we may wonder, “What is the story here?”

Better yet, watch an episode of American Pickers or Pawn Stars. When they buy something, they want to know the story. Often you’ll hear the stars of these shows ask about the story and declare a perceived value based mostly on, you guessed it, the story.

Interesting Story

In the workplace, our connection with purpose, why we do what we do, is meaningless without the story.

When we are in training seminars or workshops the value of the training is increased with the story.

You’ve likely heard of death by PowerPoint. You’ve witnessed the endless slide decks that could simply be displayed while the participants watch and read. There is not really a need for the so-called, presenter.

When you want buy-in for your change. When you want your employee teams to learn more, be more, and connect more, you may want to consider the story. Most employable people can talk about or read a slide deck.

When you attend the meeting, go to a seminar, or take a seat in the grand ballroom at the conference the question you really want to know the answer to is, “Do you have an interesting story?”

– DEG

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 five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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driving decisions

Driving Decisions Through Culture In Your Organization

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Sometimes it is all that people want. They just want a decision. Do you suspect you know the answer before the final word is delivered? What is driving decisions in your organization?

Impatience is often a problem when people believe they know the correct path. The opposite side of impatience may be analysis. What does the data tell us? What evidence exists?

Decisions and Organizational Flow

While it may seem surprising to some, the organizational culture may be responsible for driving decisions. In larger organizations, a lack of understanding about subcultures may be one of the reasons for resistance or change failure.

Most people want to support the decision, the better your culture the more likelihood of decision support. This is simple, when you have a highly engaged workforce. Many will be easily able to follow the path. They’ll believe in it, and they’ll follow it.

Therefore, the first step that is often cited as getting buy-in, is important. Buy-in can be created in many ways, but at the root of buy-in is culture.

Culture is Powerful

Consider that when the culture is committed to customer service, making changes that will positively impact the customer feel easy. A culture that is commitment to technology use, well, they’ll embrace being the front runners for the latest gadgets.

In somewhat of a contrast, cultures that are committed to the highest quality in their product, much to the surprise of some, often struggle the most with change.

Do you know why? The answer is easy, their workforce is attached emotionally to what they feel is a perfected product. Change may tarnish perfection.

Driving Decisions

Your organization has a culture. Decisions that drive future direction are guided by beliefs. Buy-in for change will be closely attached what employees feel.

As a result, often the roadblocks for change are unknowingly created by the very culture an organization works so hard to create.

– DEG

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 five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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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?

– DEG

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Does Agreement Create Buy-in?

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If everyone agrees with the change effort are they also bought in?

business people group on meeting at modern bright office

Groups and organizations processing through a significant change are nearly as unique as a finger print. As organizations commit to pivoting to new or different technology, changing policy or procedures, or even a significant cultural shift they are definitely not a one size (or shape) fits all.

Groups of people and an organizational culture is something that is developed over time. It is based on collections of values and belief systems, and is closely connected with habits, traditions, and common outcomes.

If your team agrees on a significant change happening in your workplace, are they also bought in? Some might quickly say yes, but hold on for a minute, is agreement the same as buy-in?

Establishing Agreement

If your team or workplace is struggling with a problem it might be easy to build agreement that a change is necessary. In fact, many people will often feel that a change is overdue.

Whether they like change, or they do not, they might believe that it is the best or only course of action, and just because change is required it doesn’t mean that everyone will like it but they still may feel it is necessary.

Creating Buy-in

Creating buy-in is almost always more challenging than obtaining agreement. There are many things to consider when trying to create or improve buy-in for a particular change.

Buy-in is typically not something that you can snap your fingers and it is finished. You can’t just hold a team meeting, a staff meeting, or an all-company meeting and expect to achieve it.

Too often supervisors, managers, or even the CEO become convinced that people are bought-in for a change effort when in fact, they’ve only reached agreement that a change is required.

Get Both

Some believe it is a two-step process. First, you have to establish agreement that a change is necessary, and second you have to build or create the buy-in for a prescribed change.

Agreement on a change may lead to buy-in but never confuse the idea of agreement with meaning that people are also bought-in.

If you’re going to have a successful transition and truly achieve change, you should be sure to get both.

– DEG

See also: Did You Create Buy-in? and 5 Tips to Create Buy-in for Change.

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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Are You Hungry For Change?

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Recently I was driving to a local sandwich shop contemplating what I would order. While driving I was asking myself, “A half or a whole sub, how hungry am I?”

050698495-teamwork

I’m one of those breakfast, lunch, and dinner people who eat at very close to the same time every day. I insist on it, I need it. On this day I was about an hour past my desired lunch break and I felt very hungry. I ordered a whole sub, and loved every bite.

Through my business I’m often asked to address specific change related issues through a speaking or training event, or sometimes I’m hired to coach people who are struggling with performance or having difficulty with change. In perhaps all of these cases, I ask myself, “Are they really hungry?” Change isn’t easy, and no one said it has to be, but it is much easier when the organization or individual team members are hungry (metaphorically) for change.

Creating Hunger

Sometimes client expectations require me to rally the employees, get them fired up, and get them all moving in the same direction, or in other scenarios they may want me to help the internal team members who are responsible for change learn how to create buy-in. Typically there are a few key points I use to create greater engagement and buy-in, making them a little bit hungrier for change.

  1. Openly discuss the problem. While the team cannot continuously agonize over the problem or dwell on the forces that are now applying pressure, it is often more effective to start by selling the problem first, then the solution. Teams that agree on the general characteristics of the problem are much more excited about moving forward with a solution.
  2. Agree on internal and external factors. Change often has more than one factor applying pressure to employee teams or organizations. There are often external factors such as technology, the economy, or changing government regulations and at the same time there can be internal factors such as leadership and vision, workforce preparedness, and even past performance failures. Openly recognizing and communicating on how these factors will be addressed adds comfort and builds trust.
  3. Value and respect time. Change often requires trust, and change like trust takes time. Unfortunately not every employee will buy-in as quickly or easily when compared with others, and once buy-in has occurred not every employee will transition at the same pace. Sometimes a little patience in the early stages helps shorten the length of time required to successfully complete the transition.

Other approaches might work and in some cases additional effort will be required. A downsizing effort is much different from an expansion, economic recession may call for different tactics when compared with growth, and a new process or procedure will typically take individuals out of their comfort zones and will require time to move from discomfort back to comfort. Even workforce generations can be a special consideration for keeping people hungry throughout the transition.

Remember that change isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary, desirable, and worth it.

Individuals or Teams

Most of this logic applies to personal change in much the same way that it applies to teams or entire organizations. Workplace change is a collaboration of effort typically requiring individuals to get on board and as acceptance grows the group unites in their effort. The amount of buy-in or engagement of the effort begins with each individual connecting their role and responsibility with the bigger picture, what I often describe as having a sense of purpose. When the problem and their purpose are clear, and the need for change is recognized (sell the problem not the solution), people will usually be hungry for change.

How hungry are you?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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