Repetition is the key to success
Learning to practise, improve, be self-critical, and seek feedback from others is critical to personal improvement. So why do we adopt a different viewpoint when we change the context from personal learning to organisational learning or change? Unless the change is instantaneous, we say the 'theory does not hold water', rather than trying repeatedly and using different routes to implement.
It would appear that if the benefits sought are not apparent almost overnight, the change initiative is deemed to have failed. Apply this reasoning to learning to play golf, dance or swim. This view lacks credibility. We expect too much from expending minimal effort.
The law of repetition is based upon closing the loop through continuous feedback by taking action and learning, taking action and learning and so on. Relating this to organisational change requires the following actions.
- Never set impossible targets for culture change. Throw the esoteric stuff out of the window.
- Choose three areas for improvement and drive these until they give you the return you want. As soon as it is realised that the management group is not going to stop investing massive action into a project until the objectives are achieved - you will see and witness a different level of commitment from middle managers and others.
- Never give a managerial group responsibility for critical objectives. Avoid collective responsibility because ownership will never reside with a person - it will reside with a group. Make individuals responsible and relentlessly request feedback on progress. Don't show any interest in why things don't work. Measure performance on what each individual makes work.
- Make it a rule never to say, "It won't work." If you hear negative comments, ask for two ways to make 'it' work for every negative comment you receive.
Things only work with the support of people. If they don't work, perhaps there is a requirement to communicate more effectively. You may have focused on the wrong person as a change agent.
Contact Philip to learn how to use the law of Repetition.