Three tools for change

grennyThis is the final installment of notes from the Global Leadership Summit I had the pleasure of attending just over a month ago. Joseph Grenny gave the second talk of the day on factors involved in motivating change. He gave a 2×3 table which across the top had ability and motivation, and up the side had personal, social, structural. He cited loads of research and it was genuinely interesting, insightful and helpful. I did come away however thinking it was all slightly over complicated. The thing I’m using off the back of his talk is the personal, social, and structural. All of these factors are important when trying to help people change. On the personal stuff people need to be skilled up to know what to do and how. On the social side we need the support of groups, friends, accountability partners etc. On the structural we need environmental things put in place to help us (making your membership or serving pathway easier for example).

This stuff also put me in mind of Chip and Dan Heath’s book Switch which covers similar ground using the metaphor of an elephant (your emotional side), a rider (your rational side) and a pathway (your environment). The elephant and rider maps on to Grenny’s ‘personal’ stuff, and the social and structural maps on to the pathway. All these insights are useful reminders that when it comes to motivating change it’s not as simple as ‘changing the heart’ or beating the sheep. There are other factors at play and we can help people by taking this multi-perspectival approach.


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