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How Can We Get People on Board?

Question

How do you make this journey contagious and genuine? We have many great minds here who can be quite cynical and who may have been disappointed in the past.

Answer

Making change contagious takes time. Momentum seems to naturally pick up when an organization captures the critical mass. There will be skeptics. I find the best way to start is to focus on those who are passionate about making the organization better. Recognize those individuals and units. This creates a gap between those who are on board and those who are opposed or unsure. As those on board move forward, the unsure will move with this group as they see results. The attitudes of the individuals not on board will become more obvious. Some of them will then get on board. Others will have a one-on-one meeting with their leader, and choose to get on board or leave as a result.

I find the way to keep the enthusiasm growing is to capture the many wins along the way and communicate wins across the organization. I am frequently asked, “When do people get on board?” In reply, I often suggest leaders learn, “What’s the what?” for employees. In other words, the key is to find the one thing that makes all the difference to an individual. For one person, the “what” may be a thank you note mailed to her home. To another person, it may be the fact that his supervisor asked for and acted on his input. For someone else, it may be that her evaluation was completed on time. My last suggestion is to realize culture change is a journey and to connect everything back to purpose, worthwhile work, and making a difference.