People They're Your Fuel For Change | Human Centred Change

People They’re Your Fuel For Change

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What is people power? 

People power is grassroots change. Swift powerful and deeply emotive, it challenges the norm and gathers followers quickly.

People power has the potential to drive more than social movements (think Extinction Rebellion and Me Too). Clever organisations know that harnessing the power of their people enables them to drive change, innovate and make the shifts necessary to reinvent themselves time and time again.

Heads + Hearts + Hands = Rapid Action

A study by MIT Sloan School of Management reveals more than 60 per cent of employees don’t understand the change they’re required to implement (or comply with). The usual knee-jerk reaction is resistance because they can’t make sense of it.

Many organisations equate change with pain. In our combined 50 years’ experience managing change, we’ve found that it doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t need to take long, and it certainly doesn’t have to be painful. Rapid action happens when you harness the potential of your people and engage them in creating the change. This is how you tap into their discretionary effort.

People embrace the change they create themselves.  Good change activation requires alignment to purpose and engaging employees’ heads, hearts and hands in making change happen. A study by BCG (2018) found that 96 per cent of companies that did this achieved the break-through and sustained performance improvement they wanted from their transformation efforts (nearly three times that of other companies). Nor is BCG’s study a standalone. The results have been replicated numerous times and are backed up by our own data.

The principles of people power

Successful change can be ignited by a common purpose and three key principles.

1.     Engage heads by clearly communicating your ‘why, how and what’. Paint a picture by telling a consistent and compelling story. People are more likely to commit to change when they understand the reasons for it, can imagine what the future will look like and can see themselves in it.

2.     Capture hearts by connecting people to purpose. Create and empower a team that can engage everyone in the process of change, connect them to the purpose and help them join the dots.

3.     Align heads, hearts and hands by helping your people to make change happen. Provide the necessary information, resources, tools and training and be mindful that sense-making doesn’t follow a uniform timeline. Change starts in leaders’ heads long before it’s announced. Pausing and giving people the time to catch up with you will pay off by making change happen faster. 

In a report by BCG in 2018, over 96% of the companies that fully engaged the head, heart, and hands of their people achieved the break-through and sustained performance improvement they expected from a transformation, a rate nearly three times that of the majority of the other companies.  

Click to download our simple tool to help you identify the individuals in your organisation ready to ‘Power Up’ your change, then book in a meeting to debrief to help you get on your way.

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