Humbleness to create change: 7 ideas to start the journey

I have been part of lot of change management efforts where leaders suggest that there is an urgency to create change and they provide the answers or brings in consultants. I don’t think this is going to work.

The approach that I am taking with my work is:

  1. 90% of problems are systemic and 10% can be attributed to individual people (Dr. Deming’s work)

  2. People are inherently trying to do the right thing and are focussed on good outcomes (from my experience in the social and public sector)

  3. Outside change experts and big proclamations starts to create anti-bodies within the organisation (More here on anti-bodies)

  4. Find the bright spots in a organisation where its already happening. Understand that and help spread the good stuff. (Power of Positive Deviance & Switch)

  5. Every individual has a problem story & alternative story. The goal is to understand and expand on the alternate story.  (Comes from Narrative Practice on individuals, I am adapting to organisational work)

  6. Creating an environment to enable a growth mindset that will enable people to learn rather than a fixed mindset.  (Carol Dweck’s work on mindsets)

  7. And finally, always keep a learning frame. To learn, I need to first understand and to understand, I need to listen and to listen, I need to respect the people I am working with and their context.

To do this, I need to be humble.

Before you finished getting out of bed, brushing your teeth with clean tap water, putting on clothes, making breakfast, turning off the light, walking out the door, you are benefiting from the work of hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals from all around the world. They all deserve your spirit of generosity. So walk with humility and reverence for the human endeavor, and know it’s your job to help take that endeavor forward. - Jacqueline Novagratz


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