It’s amazing what the power of a good idea can do for people. In the context of building a business or a unit within a business, a powerful idea can be a compelling force in helping to increase productivity and change the direction of a team. This may, at first glance, not seem like a concept that has not been discussed already. Well, it’s not. The most important question is whether or not managers and executives have deliberately utilized the idea planting concept with a view toward significant change. In all likelihood, there has been little purposeful intent on the part of most managers.
One point of resistance by managers is the amount of time it may take for the idea to fully integrate itself into the thinking of the team. Often, a manager may not have the luxury of time to bring about change. Short term solutions prevail. As it relates to changes in thinking and attitude, the planned integration of a “change idea” can be a unique and productive tool to consider. Where a business team needs to alter the way they view productivity and improvement, or where the inter-personal functioning needs improvement, the use of a plan to insert a positive idea can have an impact.
So, how does a manager get started with developing and implementing ideas for change? Start by developing a plan of action. The manager sets a goal for what the idea is intended to bring about with the team. It becomes an outline of the modifications sought and the benefit that could be gained. Make the outline short and simple but with enough detail to be of value. Make a direct and unmistakable goal statement. Outline in as clear a description as possible, exactly what the goal will achieve. Anyone looking at the outline should instantly understand what change is being pursued.
For the change idea to take hold, there must be convincing motivation to do things better or differently. the manager must create a picture in the minds-eye of the team of the improvements they will realize. The manager must build the betterment to be gained into how the idea is described. What would be different if the idea took hold and how would people know? Make the idea powerful and motivating. This clear vision of the positive results will act as the trigger to guide and alter behavior. Members of the team will gravitate toward an idea that improves things measurably. The positive vision becomes the tipping point for change.
Now the manager will need to outline how the power-idea will be measured and tracked. What things will the manager be able to observe that will provide “idea proof” of implementation. To what extent has the idea taken hold and how are behavioral improvements evidenced? The manager must measure on an ongoing basis whether or not the idea has taken hold. This is not always easy, particularly if measurements have not been set out to help. This regular observation and review tells the manage whether the idea is catching on or not working. It guides the manager as to whether increased or additional efforts are needed. The objective and subjective measurements are the “litmus test.” of germination. This also makes it fun and rewarding for the manager. They can begin to see the pay-offs.
The obvious question is; How Do You Get the power-idea going within the work-group. It is implemented one person, one meeting, one day and one conversation at a time. The manager finds appropriate opportunities with individuals and more purposeful opportunities where the team is together. The power-idea is worked into communications and regular team meetings. The manager drips the idea out using the outline originally developed to frame the suggestions. In individual meetings, the manager might simply reflect…”wouldn’t if be valuable for the team if we could somehow really get (“teamwork”) to improve?” At a team meeting, the manager might interject…”we are capable of doing so much more with (“teamwork”) as a catalyst. I could sure benefit from ideas in this area”…then just move onto another topic. It is the power of suggestion and the planting of benefit rich ideas that move mountains.
(c) Copyright – Michael D. Moore. All Rights Reserved World Wide
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