Change is hard, change takes time. So they say. But I know from practice that change can be both fun and fast. If you follow a few core principles.
Tap into what is already there
It is much easier to do what we normally do. As human beings we try to stay in our comfort zone as much as possible. Uninvited change tends to create an negative first reaction. It feels hard, it takes time and it is not fun. As a change agent you can help people to accelebrate change by tapping into what is already there. Simply ask: What to keep? Which procedures, social routines and personal habits will support the desired change or at least not derail it? Keep the best and change the rest.
Move your energy
In changing times engage in what you want, not in what you don’t want. Move towards a burning desire in stead of moving away from a burning platform. Combine the bottom-up processes and top-down processes in your brain. Use your emotions to create importance and your mental capacity to get it right. Where your energy flows, your focus will go — until you become aware of this fact and manage to redirect the energy toward your focus.
Be good together
Collaboration is the X-factor in accelebrating change. We are in this together and nobody is alone. If each of us is clever it will take us some of the way. If we can become good together, it will take us all the way — faster and with more fun. We need to invest in building a collaborative and safe environment. In an exponential changing world it can seem as waste of time, but it is not. If you want to perform better and develop faster you need to engage more in what you have and what you do with other people.
Continue until it feels natural
During change certain new behaviors become vital. Practice them until they become shared routines and personal habits. Fake it until you become it. Excellence is not an act, but what we repeatedly do. Intensity times repetition is the simple formula of new strong habits. To get started become aware and get ready to change. Perception is key — yes, but context rules. Support the vital behavior with nudging, nesting, priming and confirmation. One day a new sustainable behaviour is installed, the next day another — and so forth.
Challenge the path of least resistance
We are biased. As default our brain will choose the easiest, fastest, less risky route — unless a reward is perceived. These choices in fact define our personal comfort zone. Except for repetitive tasks where high precision and strong safety is wanted or situations where energy conservation is crucial reward yourself by choosing the more challenging and complex route. Get the good habit of questioning — on a regular basis — shared beliefs, assumptions, routines and unreflected decision making.
Make change your comfort zone
Since the brain’s reward system can be linked to anything why not link it directly to the change process itself? The lucky ones who in an early age made this linkage got addicted to learning. They get high on it, they crave it — every day. They are questioning, disturbing and disrupting old patterns. To assist them and to make the rest of us accelebrate change in the same manner you can offer an environment where change is the default and learning is a build-in feature. Expect the unexpected. Prepare for the unpredictable.
Hopefully these six principles will inspire you to accelebrate change.