4 Ways to Make Change Stick

4 Ways to Make Change Stick
Promoted by 4 Ways to Make Change Stick

There are many reasons why organisations might want to introduce change: to drive growth, a change in leadership, a new strategic agenda, external pressures, poor performance, low productivity, lack of innovation, poor morale, and so on.

Whatever the reason, organisations soon realise that to achieve significant change they will also need their people to adopt new behaviours. So to have any chance of achieving change you first need to achieve behavioural change. To affect behaviour change, organisations often opt to implement new behavioural models. So how do organisations make behavioural change stick?


1. It’s Not You, It’s Me!

It’s dangerous to assume that the onus for change is on others. If, for example, the organisation wants to encourage creativity and innovation but Leaders and Managers persist in telling others what to do, then creativity is unlikely to flourish.  

The ILM produced a fascinating piece of researchthat analysed the extent to which respondents felt they were influenced by the people they work with every day - they discovered that, ‘74% of people actively copy the attributes of those around them’.1 So, when Leaders and Managers adopt the changes they want to see in others they are more likely to elicit an effective response, at the same time as building higher levels of social capital.

It is therefore critical for Leaders and Managers to demonstrate and role model the behaviours that will support the change programme on an ongoing basis.

2. I Like What I See

However, the ILM report also revealed that typically ‘people are not influenced by traditional hierarchies when it comes to who they emulate, and are most influenced by those they work with most frequently’. This suggests that edicts from above simply won’t have the desired impact on behaviour change. Instead, organisations would benefit from disseminating the power that exists within their hierarchies by helping their leaders to drop the task master role and to adopt more of a coaching style of leadership, which fosters new behaviours in others.  The more often the desired behaviours are witnessed at an operational level within the organisation the more likely they are to be emulated.

3. Make It Matter

You can try to ‘tell’ people to change but unless making a change really matters to someone it is unlikely to happen. More attentive listening and more insightful questioning are skills that will serve the Manager well. With more frequent and informal communication channels in place, Managers will be able to gain a deeper understanding of what is important to people and what motivates them. When people can see how a change in their behaviour might help them to get closer to their own goals they are far more likely to begin the process of transformation.

4. That’s The Way We Do Things Around Here

People will always know when a change lacks authenticity. Paying lip service to a new model or a new initiative without really understanding how it will be fully integrated into the organisation will diminish any change effort. Behaviour change needs to be underpinned by cultural change to ensure that new behaviours are fully supported, valued, recognised, rewarded and encouraged by the organisation.

Don’t Settle For Anything Less Than Long Term Success

Most behavioural models only achieve short term results as they don’t embed long term habitual changes in every Managers’ day-to-day behaviour. Notion’s STAR® Model has bucked this trend; at its core, STAR® helps Managers and Leaders to develop a new style that drives innovation, increases engagement, and improves productivity and performance. In doing so, Managers and Leaders are enabled to help their colleagues to successfully drive change across organisations.

1 ILM ( 2017)  ‘Contagious Leadership’ Rife In The Workplace


As global experts in behavioural change, Notion can provide case studies and examples of this in action. For more information about how to make new behaviours stick in your organisation and ensure your change project is an ongoing success click on the button below or call us for an informal chat on +44 (0)1926 889 885.

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