Can you lead effective change? Despite a plethora of research that says there are basic human needs that must be met to achieve desired change, it’s staggering the number of executives who willfully or blindly charge forward – only to see their organizations fall well before the finish line.

It’s useful to keep fundamental, human change dynamics in mind to ensure we function from a reality that leverages what we know about the human spirit. Given the power of these attributes, we might even consider them “laws.” If you don’t follow them, you can’t succeed.

1. If you don’t have employees that feel good about themselves, then you can’t expect them to be accountable to anything that’s important to you. The routine that takes place in most companies:

   -Communicate threats and frustration for failure of current change efforts.

   -Create a new plan for change, then attempt to rah-rah and sell it to the troops.

   -Repeat steps a and b.

Even before you define the changes to occur in 2017, get well ahead of the effort by doing all the things you know are essential to build confidence and courage in the work force now. When people feel good about themselves they are more likely to embrace change.

2. If you don’t involve people’s ideas in the change, then you can’t and won’t have a rapid ramp up in your change process. No one can see the vision you have in your mind. The time it takes for a team to “see” the same thing is accelerated when you build that vision together.

3. If you don’t include the motivations of others, then you can’t expect them to take ownership and lead the effort forward. Most organizations operate in the dark ages on this one; they spend extraordinary resources attempting to “motivate” the work force . . . when all they simply need to do is better understand – and leverage – what motivations reside in the hearts of their employees. In short, don’t tell people why they should care – ask them.

If someone wanted to lead you in a change effort, what actions would you want them to take? As we lead others, it’s useful to remember that if we don’t do those things, we can’t possibly win.

Image courtesy of mrpuen at


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