Hyrum's speech was about our individual belief windows. I won't try to reiterate everything he talked about, but in a nutshell, he spoke of behavior patterns that are driven by the beliefs we carry with us and how we cannot change our behaviors unless we change our beliefs. I don't think that what Hyrum talked about was rocket science, but what he said did resonate with me immediately. All too often, those responsible for implementing change within an organization don't make the connection to this very important concept. If we want to avoid resistance and sustain change in an organization, we MUST change the belief systems that exist within the organization. The first step in doing this is investing time into understanding what the current behaviors are and what is driving them.
- Have employees been through changes in the past that didn't stick and are now they resist spending any more time on improvement projects?
- Have past experiences making improvements led to layoffs now causing employees to sabotage other improvement attempts?
- Did prior attempts at improving operations end up taking second seat to meeting monthly production numbers which has now caused a lack of improvement ideas?
- Did workplace organization efforts end in things being thrown away that shouldn't have now leading employees to hide or hoard things?
- Were previous attempts at improvements forced on employees with little of their input leaving employees with poor attitudes and low morale?
I could go on and on. You get the idea. My point is that missing this vital concept in the execution of your company's transformation could mean certain failure. Employees have varied experiences when it comes to change that have helped form their belief systems. Some experiences are positive and drive positive behaviors and reactions to change. For others, their experiences may have been less than positive and are feeding a resistance to change. If you want change to be accepted and to be sustained, it's imperative that you invest in the time it takes to understand these dynamics. Ask questions. Hold meetings. Search for clues. Do whatever it takes to identify and understand the beliefs that are driving behaviors that are counter-productive to your efforts. Once you do, work toward dispelling those beliefs by replacing them with alternative realities that will drive different, less resistant behaviors. I guarantee, your journey to improvement will be much smoother. Thank you Hyrum Smith for reminding us of the very human aspect of driving transformation through an organization.