Change and change management is difficult to initiate but some would say it is even more difficult to sustain. For tips on how to more effectively begin and sustain corporate change, let’s look at a classic change challenge for individuals…weight loss.
All too often January 1st sees a flurry of new gym memberships and investments in multiple six-packs of Slim Fast-type diet drinks. Enthusiasm is high for the first two weeks or so and then the pounds start coming back. It is not easy to change habits of a lifetime!
Certainly being an integral part of an environment that supports and reinforces the desired change can help. You may be familiar with the TV program, The Biggest Loser. The show features obese people competing to win a cash prize of $250,000 by losing the highest percentage of weight relative to their initial weight. Michael Ventrella was the winner in Season #9 having lost a record 264 pounds. His total percentage of weight loss was over 50%.
Of course, this was not the first time Michael had tried to lose weight. He had tried and failed many times before. The difference for Michael this time was being integrated into a performance environment that set him up to succeed. For example, he:
In other words, he competed for the opportunity to be selected; committed to the goals; had ongoing coaching; was measured regularly with scores shared across the group; and was inspired by leaders who had been successful. All of the elements for creating the environment for change were present. And he proved that he could change…dramatically so.
But somewhere along the line after the show, something went wrong. In fact many of the show’s contestants gained back much of the weight they had lost. There are studies being done to explain how hard the body fights back against weight loss. But the lesson we need to glean from this experience for our own corporate change initiatives is that initial achievement is only that…initial.
If you want to be successful at change over the long term, you have to be vigilant as you keep the goal of change in front of you and your employees. It is not enough to hit the target once…you need to keep hitting the target (and creating the environment to support it) again and again. Maintain focus on the benefits of change, encourage and track the behaviors necessary to stay the course, keep moving in the right direction, and never give up when it comes to creating the environment and circumstances for change to last.
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We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
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Michelle A. Mitchell
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LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.
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VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.
Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
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Senior Vice President Learning & Development
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Beth A. Taylor
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