Are you facing one of the most challenging tasks in the history of mankind – to get other people to change? Whether you need to get your employees, your colleagues, your client or your family members to change, getting others to change is just plain hard. Unfortunately, this challenging task is becoming more and more common place as the world around us is evolving at such an exponential rate. Industries that have traditionally attracted people who are “change averse” are facing huge mandates – change or die. Think of healthcare, education, government, retail, traditional publishing, television / radio, etc… Heck, you name it and the industry is likely facing some kind of huge paradigm shift… all right now.

How can you smile?

A few weeks ago I was having this very discussion as part of a class I was teaching for a group of Executive MBA students from Austria who were visiting the States. During the breaks, one of the participants came up to me with a very serious and distressed look on his face. He set his gaze on me and sternly asked, “With all of this change in the world, how can you be smiling?” Other than generally being a “smiley” guy, I did have a good reason for smiling at that moment. My response was simple. I said to him, “You are correct. The world is changing at a speed and pace that no one can predict or know, nor have we ever seen such a pace of change throughout history. So, as I see it, we have two options. We can let the change happen to us and react to it or resist it. Or we can be the authors of that change. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be the author of the world I want to live in rather than have someone else decide that for me.” His reaction? He smiled and walked off.

Authoring change

This month is about helping you to author that change and to persuade others to follow you. Amongst other things, we’ll be talking about some of the fundamental elements of getting anyone to change, from our most senior employee who is set in his / her ways to our eldest child who still lives at home well after they should. To that end, this month we’ll tackle:

  • How do you create a compelling vision for change?
  • What are the best ways to light a fire under others and create urgency?
  • What’s the best way and time to deliver an action plan for others to follow?
  • How and when do we support others while they take on change?

Change is hard. Change is even harder when we have no real control over the people we are trying to change. We have to cajole, persuade, convince and inspire to get others to face some of their greatest fears and make that leap of faith. In the end, we have to make such a compelling case that they see our path as the only one. Hold on for a crash course on people change 101.

My goal this month is simple: By the end of the month, I want you to come out prepared to author the future of the world in which we live. Ambitious enough for you?