Ben Tiggelaar with some of his thoughts on the psychology of change.
First, he stresses out the importance of both sides of the transformation coin: “Think differently” and “Act differently”. In a transformation you want people to start thinking differently and to act differently. Every side of the coin has got three elements that matter.
- What people believe is hard to change. It is not because you’ve come up with some change idea and strategy, that people take this up. Study what values and beliefs employees/people have, and start linking those with the direction of the change you have in mind.
- Efficacy: the belief in your ability to succeed in a particular situation. When people don’t believe that they are capable of doing what you ask in the change project, they will not change their behaviour when you’re not around. Perhaps they will act on the change when you in the neighbourhood, but they will download to the old routines when you’re not around.
- People imitate others. We are social beings and closely look at what others do. Statistics, numbers and strategies in PowerPoint are interesting but when people on the workfloor don’t “walk the talk”, others will not move towards the direction of the change. Make sure that enough people act on the change you want to see.
- Make the abstract output goals of the change project concrete in “actions in-the-now”. What does the desired result in the future mean for actions now? Not easy, but the possible change in behaviour is increased with factor 10 or 11 when these abstract output goals are translated into concrete actions.
- Develop and apply techniques for change in behaviour. One important technique concerns the (social) environment in which people work. Change the social and physical environment in which people work, and they will more likely change their behaviour and way of thinking. They will more likely change their behaviour than when you only try to let them think differently.
- Evaluate continuously. The third aspect is about giving feedback during the (learning) process of transformation. Don’t wait until “the end” to evaluate the change project, but be aware of the process of the transformation. A transformation is in essence a learning process. Don’t focus too much on the outcome of the learning process immediately (which is understandeable). Paradoxically, the fastest road to change is allowing detours on the learning road, with continuous, instant feedback and room for failure.
Cherry, K. 2014. Self Efficacy (What It Is and Why It Matters). [online] Available at: http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/self_efficacy.htm [Accessed: 28 Mar 2014].
Tiggelaar, B. (2010, October 19). Dromen, Durven Doen. Spectrum.YouTube. 2014. Ben Tiggelaar over veranderpsychologie. [online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEaXpDVjhBQ [Accessed: 28 Mar 2014].