Why Can’t I Get People to Think Differently?

Why Can’t I Get People to Think Differently?

We have all heard the old adage from Albert Einstein: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  But have you ever thought about how this applies to driving transformational change within your organization?  One perfect example is customer experience transformation, which may involve claims or policy servicing.  A desired outcome in these initiatives is to not only gather additional information about customers, but to use this information to provide better service (for example, when they need to make a change to a policy or they have a claim). Sometimes we assume that giving new or enhanced data to call center representatives or agents, for example, will lead to a better customer experience and behavioral change.  When we do not see the desired behaviors, we try to implement new technologies to capture even more data.  This can create confusion and a negative customer experience.

The key to success is to help people in your organization understand (and agree upon) desired results. Then, you can drive the behaviors needed to realize these results.  New technologies and data should be enablers, helping you achieve desired results.  Organizations also need to create an environment that supports and sustains these behaviors beyond implementation.  Some of the most successful activities to understand and influence new behaviors include:

  • Identify new behaviors: Use the vision and specific success measures to determine the necessary skills and behaviors to achieve results. Create a “behavior roadmap” that outlines new behaviors and how these align to and/or differ from current behaviors.
  • Focus change management on behaviors: Instead of communicating only new processes and tools, focus on how new ways of thinking can lead to results…and how processes and tools support these outcomes.
  • Utilize goal-based learning: Start with the end in mind. Provide users with a situation and desired outcome and then teach them how to use the new system, reports and data.
  • Align leadership to behaviors: Make sure that leaders and first-line managers understand the desired outcomes and behaviors, and how they can coach and mentor their employees through these changes.
  • Reward and sustain desired results: Desired behaviors need to become habitual and interwoven into the culture of an organization. Sometimes this can be achieved through positive reinforcement (e.g., recognition) and other times it must be linked to expectations and other incentives (e.g., bonus results).  In the end, always remember that “what gets measured, gets done.”

Behavioral change is not easy and there is no magic recipe for success.  What else have you done in your organizations to not only introduce, but effectively influence behavioral change?

Review the other blogs in our series “You want who to do what?” and “Are we there yet?

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