The Change Challenge

Without change women would not be voting, not working outside the home, not wearing yoga pants and certainly not writing blogs about gender observations.  I think that there are three fundamental change agent drivers for us humans. We can be motivated by one, two, or all three at once but without one of these nudging us along, status quo prevails.

These change agent drivers are:

  1. Living it — You experience negative impact firsthand.
  2. Feeling the plight—You have deep compassion for negatively impacted people, although you do not experience that same impact personally. 
  3. Gain— You stand to gain from an implemented change in terms of money, status, advancement, and so forth.

I might be stating the obvious here, but what frequently happens when we as individuals attempt to influence another person, a group or even a company for change, we rely entirely on our own driver(s) rather than tailor the value proposition for the driver(s) of the recipient.

Passion for a cause is a wonderful force and certainly a necessary fuel for change, however the likelihood of a successful outcome is often greater when passion is channeled in such a way that it can be easily absorbed by those who do not share it or even if they do, experience it differently.

Tailoring and channeling are grand words but what it really comes down to is our ability to transport ourselves mentally onto the planets of the people we are trying to influence, and while there, attempt to understand what makes them tick. And what change adventurer does not enjoy a little space travel?    

"If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude." 
— Maya Angelou

(This post was originally published on Professional Women's Perspectives - Gender observations from a working life)

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