Desire to Change

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“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw

If you want to drive a change, you need to create a desire for change.

Creating a desire for change is a challenge, because we have limited control over another person’s choices.

When we build awareness, we can use proven practices to generate awareness of the need for change.  Unfortunately, creating the desire for change is not under our direct control.

In the book ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community, Jeffrey Hiatt shows us how to create a desire for change using 4 factors that influence a desire to change.

Don’t Assume Building Awareness Builds Desire

Just because you created awareness of the need to change, does not mean that you’ve created desire.

Via ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community:

“A common mistake made by many business leaders is to assume that by building awareness of the need for change they have also created desire. Resistance to change from employees takes them by surprise and they find themselves unprepared to manage this resistance.”

The 4 Factors of Desire to Change

According to Hiatt, there are four factors that influence a desire to change:

  1. Factor 1 – The nature of the change (what the change is and how it will impact them)
  2. Factor 2 – The organizational or environmental context for the change (their perception of the organization)
  3. Factor 3 – An individual’s personal situation
  4. Factor 4 – What motivates them (those intrinsic motivators that are unique to an individual)

Factor 1 – The nature of the change and WIIFM

You need to address the question, “What’s In It For Me?” so that people know what the change is and what it means to them.

Via ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community:

“A person or group assesses the nature of a change on a variety of levels that include “What is the change?” and “How will the change impact me?”  This is often termed “What’s in it for me?” or WIIFM.  

They will determine if the change represents an opportunity or a threat.

They may also assess how fairly they think the change will be deployed with other individuals or groups. If individuals perceive inequity between groups, this alone can provide an excuse to resist change.”

Factor 2 – Organizational or environmental context

The context where the change is taking place will impact the desire for change.

Via ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community:

”Organizational or environmental context represents how a person or group views the environment that is subject to the change. Because each person’s experience is unique, this assessment of the surroundings will vary from person to person.

In the workplace, this organizational context includes the success of past changes, how much change is already going on, reinforcements or rewards that were part of past change, the organization’s culture and the overall direction of the organization.”

Factor 3 – An individual’s personal situation

An individual’s personal situation will impact the desire for change.

Via ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community:

”Individual or personal context is the third factor that contributes to a person’s desire to change.

Personal context includes all aspects of a person’s life situation, including family status, mobility (are they in a position to be flexible in terms of where they live?), financial security, age, health, career aspirations (are they where they expected to be at this point in their career?), relationships at home and at work, educational background, upcoming personal events and past success in this work environment (promotions, recognition, compensation).”

Factor 4 – Intrinsic motivation

An individual’s personal motivation will impact the desire for change.

Via ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community:

”Intrinsic or personal motivation is the fourth element that contributes to a person’s desire to change. Personal motivators are those inherent attributes that make us individuals. They range from the desire to help others and make a difference in our world, to the avoidance of pain or negative consequences. Some of us seek advancement while others want depth in relationships.  Some desire respect, power or position. Some strive for financial security.

What drives each of us to change is unique and falls along a broad spectrum of motivators.

Personal motivation not only includes what we value, but also our internal belief that we could achieve what we want should we choose to move forward. It is our internal compass that communicates to us the likelihood or probability that we would obtain the desired result from this change.”

To recap, you can control building awareness.

You can’t control creating desire.

But you can influence desire more effectively if you know the four factors of desire to change:

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM), Context, Individual Situations, and Individual Motivations.

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Image by Andreas Ivarsson.

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