Sunday, January 13, 2019

How To Make A Change That Will Stick

Want to make a change and be guaranteed that change will stick?

Here's what needs to happen in your business... and your life to ensure improvements.

I want to share this because many people waste tremendous amounts of time and money attempting improvements with minimal success.

Here's how you can change that!

When attempting a change of any kind that you want to stick... this key practice has to be in place.

It's called pattern interruption.

This comes from the world of NLP - neuro-linguistic programing, which include techniques to remap the brain to create new responses. It's included in the cocktail of elements related to human behavior science we use to jump-start quick changes with our clients.

Pattern interruption is the conscious decision and action to abruptly stop and disrupt something - specifically a thought or action - and immediately redirect and replace it with something different. It's like telling your brain, "Stop it!" and then giving it an alternate action or response. The key to sustaining the attempted change is to consciously, continually offer the alternate until the new response or behavior becomes automatic...in fact habitual.

Why is this necessary for change?  We are "creatures of habit". You're probably familiar with that phrase. Habits reflect a form of natural human conditioning. It's happening and in most cases, we don't even realize it. And yet, before we know it, we're different in some way.

Habits not only apply to behavior but also to - and this is where it begins - responses or reactions to environmental stimuli called triggers, which then create a change reaction of thoughts, feelings, emotions and thinking patterns which all generate behaviors of some kind.

So, the most effective way to change a behavior is by catching it's source, typically a trigger,  thought or feeling, which then changes the subsequent physical response aka behavior.

Pattern interruption is an essential human behavior insight for change which most leaders, managers and their HR counterparts do not know or use. That's why folks, even when expecting change, tend to repeat current practices over and over again, which in fact reinforces the very thing they want to change. This is commonly known as insanity! :-)

So, if you want to really make a change in a sustainable way, you need to interrupt, disrupt and introduce an alternative, consistently.

Here's an example: Last year I had a goal to reduce the amount of sugar and crabs in my diet.  I had a particular affinity for the candy hot tamales. Even the thought of them now triggers a hint of a  craving (note that phrase).

So here's how I overcame what I came to realize was a mild addiction to them referencing the principles above:
1. I stopped buying them (easy enough you think). :-) Stop 
2. I had to reduce, eliminate the craving of them so I would not be tempted to buy them (chain reaction). So, I had to find and choose alternate replacements to address the craving that was equally or more satisfying. Disrupt by offer something new
3. Every time the craving appeared, I developed and had on hand my "go to" alternatives. I was able to continuously choose the new/alternate options because it met the need...just in a different way -- equal or better.

Taking a holistic approach, I started experimenting with "go to foods" (easy to access and have on hand) that were very satisfying! I found that broccoli salad, egg salad, pistachios, smoked almonds, almond flour pancakes, black cherry flavored Dasani water...were all wonderful substitutes, just to name a few. And, my list continued to grow as I worked to change my eating choices overall.

The result? I lost weight, could fit into clothes I hadn't been able to for several years, gained more energy and just overall feel better.

Here's the point: This simple piece of human performance knowledge can be used in any situations where human's exist.  I use this, among others principles, to help businesses consistently gain new outcomes by embedding them into leadership and business management practices. You'd be amazed at the results!

Coaching Tip: Identify a new result you'd like to achieve. Apply the stop-disrupt-offer alternative and do so for as long as it takes to achieve a noticeable change. Usually, with consistent focus and effort, it will take 30-45 days at a minimum.

By the way, if you're wanting to change deeply embedded habits of behavior or thought with anyone you lead, you can see that "telling someone once" won't be enough. #justsayin. That's why I say effective managing is conditioning new behaviors - facilitating the development of profitable habits. That's also why we've created a systemized approach to leadership and management.

// JCS Business Advisors is a strategic business management consultancy. Through our expertise in human behavior, we help business owners and senior leaders practice smart management. One of which is to develop high-performing leader/managers and management teams. You can't build a profitable company without them!

We partner with forward-thinking senior leaders, entrepreneurs and their HR counterparts, bridging the knowledge & execution gap of connecting people, performance, and profits. // Email: joann@jcsbusinessadvisors.com // Ph: 888.388.0565 // Schedule a complimentary strategy call. Learn about our "all-in-one" system that develops competent leaders and managers, effectively manages operations, people & talent: The Smart Management: 5 Step Predictive System for High Performance.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Are You Itchin' For A Change?

Exit now, if you want a different future!
The road to your best future, may not be the one you're currently on.

Have you ever felt "itchy"? ...not the kind where your skin needs to be scratched, but in a broader life sense when what you're doing now doesn't seem to fit anymore...and it's beginning to bother you. I call that "the itch"...you're itchin' for a change.

I was having a conversation the other day with a coaching client discussing the phases of adult maturing and evolution. We go through change stages as we age...and start to feel "itchy". The person we are evolving to for our next stage - on the inside - doesn't match the life we have now on the outside.

The itchy part, by the way, are gentle, yet annoying nudges, warning signs that "a change is a comin'"...something just doesn't feel quite right and it's time to take action.

And if we pay attention to them, giving them the response they deserve, they can really serve us well in quality of life and happiness. Gone ignored, they can manifest into a full-blown life crisis.

The itch - the need for evolution - happens in business as well. It feels more acute when it's occurring to the business owner or founder and in smaller companies.

Leaders of larger enterprises feel is too, both personal and as it relates to the business specifically and there are certainly a different set of pressures associated with the itch when accountable to a board and/or stockholders.

None-the-less the itch is real and must be responded to...at some point. It can be triggered not only with age, but also life-altering events such as the birth of children, marriage, divorce, repeated failures, repeated success, or extended plateauing where boredom sets in or when flat burnout occurs.

How about this scenario...imagine it happening to a married couple at the same time!... who own and run separate businesses and are in their early 60s. Yep, that describes me and my husband!

In fact, I've had the itch for some time but was too busy to give it any attention. The itch was subdued with lots of busy. Busy for me was work that was meaningful and satisfying...to a degree. Work that suited me well...almost.

See here's the thing, the itch gets into the gaps. It nudges it's way into the "to a degree" and the "almost".. .and says, "It's time to address this!".. (and at my age says), "There's not a lot of time left. It's now or never."

So, I've decided to address the itch. What that means for me and my business is to change it...to change it in a way that fills the gaps. For me, that means doing and including things that have been on the back burner of ideas for some time.

The good news is, using this year as a transition year, while serving clients under the old business model, I've been able to explore, discover how to define and express the gaps with a new model and offerings. It's evolved into a business reset.

I am resetting how I serve, who I serve and what I serve up regarding the intellectual capital I've accumulated over the 20 years I've been in business. Some elements of my previous model I will keep, some I will stop and will also add lots of new.

It could also mean potentially losing clients -- facing the reality that some current clients may not want to or be able to join me in the next chapter. An element of the new model and focus is helping newer companies avoid the mistakes many legacy companies have made and are now trying to undo (which comprised many of my current clients).

Yes, sometimes a new direction requires some level of risk. Yikes!...hard swallow.

The funny thing... my new offerings are asking clients to do the same -- look at themselves and their business from a fresh perspective, consider a reset and be willing to try unconventional approaches to business and people management like integrating HR and management or eliminating formal performance management as is commonly practiced, but rather opting for organic performance management instead. Or even, just trying to not use "industry speak" in exchange for more human, natural language. (This is a tough one!)

As the opening quote says (as here's the value of the reset), "The road to the best future- the future you really want - may not be the one you're on right now." This means you've got to take a turn, get off at the next exit, stop and consider...where you really want to go and what do you need to do different.


You have to do different to get different.

For me getting off the road helped me to come to terms with things that have bugged me for years. I've repeatedly witnessed elements of HR and management that are antiquated, not useful and that significantly bog down businesses wasting tremendous amounts of time and money. But few really notice because:
> everyone is busy
> that's all they know
> it's been done that way for so long
> it's continually perpetuated by their respective industries as the thing to do
> it's a conditioned way of doing something, so it doesn't occur to them to stop and question, "Why?.. is this really necessary? It's trending so it must be valuable."

One thing for sure, conditioned behavior - habits of thinking and acting - blind us to seeing something better...even when someone attempts to show us. Also, just because it's a trend doesn't necessarily means it's valuable.


When It's Time to Address The Itch
My decision to finally address this itch has not been experienced with great ease, for a variety of reasons. When it's time to address the itch, it's also time to get help. 

I consistently have to battle varying degrees of fear and doubt. I have to reinforce constructive beliefs while obliterating sabotaging ones. I mean really, what 61 year old person starts a business virtually from scratch? I'm supposed to be preparing to retire...right?

Nope. So I've had to get help because you have to clear out and clear away how you see things now to open up a pathway for the new...new ways of thinking, feeling, believing, products and services.

I've become part of communities, got mentors where I gained relevant knowledge from those with demonstrated success and almost all of which were much younger than I.  I had to admit and accept that I needed support and a quick-start map for the new course ahead.

The cool thing about this business reset is it will serve clients much better than before -- achieving even better results and incredibly more value.  I'm very excited about what I've come up with...so much so, I have a hard time going to bed and I can't wait to get up in the morning.

During this transition, I've finally had the time to articulate what's been bothering me, what's I see broken in my industry - HR, leadership-management training and development- and from my experience and expertise, devise an innovative, unconventional solutions to successfully address essential areas and in a way that can reach more people.

I finally had time to ask the question and consider the answers to, 
"How do we design our businesses in a way that continually and sustainably nurtures and maximizes the best of the human experience at work to achieve exceptional business results."

My answers, by the way, turned out not to be rocket science, just a bit of simple people science married with suitable business acumen... and, let me warn you, are outside of the mainstream. They are unconventional yet realistic and practical approaches to people and business management that challenge current industry belief and practices.

You're Invited
I invite you to head over to my website and discover the result of the reset. And if you dare, take The Challenge! suggested. Don't begin to or continually build a business in ways that someday you'll have to undo. Build the best now!

The Challenge! asks you to stick your toe in the water and test your own reset by considering changes in the way you think about and see your business. The free briefing video will walk you through it. Have fun!

Or ...if you got an itch and need to talk. Don't hesitate to connect...info. below.

// JCS Business Advisors is a strategic business management consultancy. Through our expertise in human behavior, we develop high-performance leadership teams and organizations as we partner with forward-thinking senior leaders, entrepreneurs and their HR counterparts to bridge the knowledge & execution gap of connecting people, performance, and profits.

 // Email: joann@jcsbusinessadvisors.com // Ph: 888.388.0565 // Schedule a complimentary advisory call and receive a copy of our latest executive briefing. Learn about our "all-in-one" system that develops competent leaders and managers, effectively manages operations, people & talent.

www.jcsbusinessadvisors.com