culture series: creating a culture of change part 2

September 27, 2019

written by
Barbara O Stephenson

creating change- part 2 creative solutions

It’s time to come up with a plan, now that you’ve got the right attitude as discussed in change part 1. We all dream about our lives as children and there is no reason we can’t do that as adults. Get out of the box, be creative, look around you to see how other’s do things, read a book, take a class….whatever it takes to see yourself forward and create a sense of confidence that you can create change. Find your inspiration and use that to create your new future vision.


dream your solution

Focus on the behavior you want to alter and then image the ideal scenario.  For example, if you want people to start communicating with each other, then pinpoint on that. Have a goal in mind, even if it’s just a general one like “people speaking more to each other”.  And if you’re like me, you find that one goal often leads to another.

When making change the two best ways are either 1.  go big, wipe the slate clean, & make a massive change OR start with small changes that can be incorporated into the day. If you make them massive, people won’t have bad habits because you’ve basically just upended the world and they have to start from scratch. You can set new behaviors and mindsets more easily this way. You know your team, you should know what they can handle. Or you can pick small changes, create the goals for it, and then follow up daily. Figure out what you need, write them all down, and move on to the next step.

review your playing field

Next, review and understand your tools, allies, & roadblocks to be overcome. I don’t mean a roadblock like “Barbara is just anti-social”, that’s more of a problem, not a roadblock. A roadblock is “the system is set up so people don’t HAVE to talk to each other” and that’s what we’re going to work around. Gather all the tools at your disposal so you know how to brain map the next part out.

create concrete goals

Most people don’t like change because it makes them think. It makes things harder to do at first. So a very important part of creating a culture of change is that you need to also identify the benefits of your plan. Because you’re going to have to sell that. And if you don’t believe in it, the people around aren’t going to either. You have to be wholly committed to the benefit. Even if that benefit seems blatantly obvious to you, you’ll need to push it to see it to the end.

sketch out milestones

Your roadmap and goals should be placed on a loose timeline. Once you have the beginning and the end, you add the parts in the middle. Start big and add detail. If you worry about the details first, you won’t be able to see the bigger picture. Chunk out the tasks and responsibilities as you see them.

Once you have an idea of the timeline, add some lower-level details. Don’t get bogged down cataloging every single behavior that goes into change and then outlining them in a powerpoint presentation. You’ll make the problem into something bigger than it really is, you risk creating a sense of powerlessness, and you’re once again focusing on the negative. We want change to happen because people want to change, not because they are forced into it.

warning ahead

Be aware of falling too much in love with this process/ your plan / your dreams because change planning never happens in a bubble. Don’t get attached to any dates at this point if at all possible. True change requires flexibility and adjustment, which is why we talk about keeping yourself ‘open’ instead of ‘fixed’. Sometimes, you have to have a fixed end and in that case, give yourself as much time at the end as possible for revisions and adjustments to your plan.

Part 3 Next up, Busting the Bubble by Listening