Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.~ Earl Nightingale
This month, we posted the six critical steps necessary to implement the change you seek to make. This week, we are uncovering the power in steps 3 and 4, which are literally the heart of the process. As humans, our heart is a magnificent organ, pumping blood throughout our cardiovascular system and providing us with life. Our hearts beat 100,000 times a day, delivering oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood so that we can be healthy and strong.
Change also requires a heart, a muscle that works to sustain and provide life in any organization. Well-developed and clearly enumerated goals along with the research-based methods on how to make progress toward the goals are the heart of any company or school. The goals serve as waypoints that provide clear markers of success, similar to how mile markers support the eager traveler along the way. But these goals must work together with solid practices that everyone embraces on the path forward.
The point is that clear goals simply cannot stand alone as the basis for change. In fact, well-intentioned change initiatives always fail without the support of research-based methods. Whether it is an unsuccessful business venture or schools that do not make necessary academic gains, by themselves goals are not enough. Yes, they may be invigorating, producing a burst of motivation for the people, but the goals need support mechanisms that are proven to be effective as the practices that garner the results that the goals seek to attain.
Similar to how the heart’s electrical system works perfectly to pump the heart, the work behind any goal must operate in harmony to provide the support needed for any level of achievement. Worse yet, goals that aren’t supported by proven strategies can end up being a waste of time, increasing frustration at every level and leading to cardiac arrest in the area that you lead. Take the challenge below to get to the heart of change in your organization.
The 6 step process of change is also an alignment tool. As you work through the change initiative and breathe life into it, all aspects need to function in ways that support the other component. At the heart of the model, we find enumerated goals with research-based methods.
- Reflect: Does your school or district have enumerated goals to support the change initiative that is designed to enable the organization to reach its vision? Are the goals supported with proven research-based methods? If your answer is no, do the work to create goals along with the research to support how to achieve them. If your answer is yes, move to #2.
- Identify: What are some current strengths and weaknesses with your methods? What research do you use to support the practices? Has that research been communicated as the why behind what we’re asking people to do differently?
- Do: Communication is critical. Take the time to ensure that not only is the research-base clear to the people but that they are getting frequent updates about the why and the how in terms of making the change.
Pro Tip: Frequent communication can be tricky. More emails mean that fewer are getting read. Anymore, people practically expect a media format–video, podcast, social platform update. Take the time to evaluate your communication methods and update them to a format that works best for the people you serve. If you’re not sending weekly videos about your goals, start there. You’ll see an increase in clarity right away.
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