strategy management

The longest journey

This Easter I went skiing. During my trip thought about old Norwegian heroes who traveled by skis to the North and the South Poles. Wow – those were long journeys.

But the longest journey that I can think of is the distance between the temples of a person’s head. Changing people’s behavior is about changing the way people think. Forcing change is not a good option for changing behavior. It will lead to rejection and resistance. To shorten the longest journey and to motivate people to change, you need to do it differently.

There are many ways you can do this. I have met union leaders that are opposed to everything related to performance management and target setting. They are especially against the financial perspective and the race for improved profitability. They don’t consider the financial perspective at all. My response is to begin a dialog chain, as follows:

What do you need to do an excellent job? (learning and growth perspective)

They are intrigued by this question. For the first time, someone is asking them what they need in terms of competence and systems.

What are the optimal processes that we as a company can execute (internal process perspective) to deliver value to our customers (customer perspective)?

By running a dialog in this manner, you lower their guard and initiate interesting and valuable conversations. Instead of forcing change and control upon them, you have now won the hearts and the minds of the people.

I heard this quote from a performance specialist, Peter Ryan, the first time. He said it so clearly:

“You must win the hearts and the minds of the people, or it all dies the moment you stop putting energy in”

Are your ideas and concept taking the longest, or the shortest journey through other people’s heads


Tor Inge Vasshus

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