Here’s the scenario: Following a conference or workshop, you return to your office brimming with enthusiasm for a new strategy or skill that you are certain will help make you faster, smarter, more efficient or more innovative.
Here’s the question: How often does that new strategy or skill become part of your everyday work routine?
Here’s the answer for most people: Not very often.
What stops us from making permanent changes? While it isn’t difficult to get fired up about a new idea, most people – and organizations – underestimate the effort required to permanently alter attitudes, behaviors and routines. Long-lasting change requires deliberate and strategic planning.
Our research into creativity training over the last three decades has found a couple of key elements to making change stick:
- Training must be meaningfully impactful to ‘unfreeze’ established attitudes and behaviors. No matter how pretty or clever, a 30 minute webinar isn’t likely to contain enough depth of material to really change the way we think.
- New behaviors are most likely to be accepted and applied to daily routines when external organizational factors (ie. requirement, recognition or reward) are developed to encourage and reinforce those behaviors.
- Employees who are trained with their teams of co-workers are more likely to permanently adopt new creativity skills into their daily job routines.
The human desire for self-improvement is a wonderful thing but, as we all know from New Year’s resolutions, can also be rather fragile. Organizations that invest in developing new skills and behaviors in their employees must nurture change until it becomes the new routine.
Do you have a story about learning new routines or making change stick? We’d love to hear how you or your organization made it happen. Learn more about investing in change at Basadur Applied Creativity.