Thursday, October 24, 2013



More often than not, no amounts of education and no amounts of easily accessed, understandable information will change the attitudes and subsequent behaviors of adults who have drawn value based conclusions. Better information and better education mostly provide solutions for people who seek to answer challenges and opportunities on the "technical" level. However, people who have made up their minds and then subsequently come to fully accept associated procedures as "the right way" or "the wrong way" to do business, usually hesitate in considering "facts" that challenge these value-based assumptions. Additionally, the more reinforcement their processes have received the deeper their entrenchment. This even applies to those who have decided to not care about given processes and situations. As not caring also represents a value-based (rather than technical) conclusion, no amounts of "educating," alone, will change their minds, unless and until some types of additional motivators come to serve as "significant emotional events" for them. That means that, in some cases, these people won't even acknowledge problems, until those problems become personal issues for them... and, of course, by then, they may have waited too long.

What does this mean for those who whould show the way? Since different people attach different values to given solutions, no standard answers can efficiently and effectively apply to the breadths of the associated people, processes, and situations. Therefore, (functional) leadership, rather than management, would serve as the most appropriate form of directing, to address the challenges and opportunities associated with people locked into value-based ways of doing business. Steps to take include:

  • Identify how they came to value their solutions, focusing on what specifically motivates them regarding those solutions

  • Identify what would serve as stronger motivators (usually unique to the specific persons)

  • Use as many of their senses as possible to make them feel the happiness (reward power) associated with changing and the pain (coercive power) of not changing -- on personal levels.


Note that reasoning and cursory threats, by themselves, usually won't work to change the entrenched values of the affected people (followers). In these cases, leaders have to affect followerrs on emotional levels. After all, these followers have proven and have subsequently taken ownership of their solutions. If leaders only provide words, a high likelyhood exists that the followers will also only provide words... while they continue doing business as usual, only out of sight, as necessary.

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