Changing a large organisation from an inward focus to an outward focus is no simple task.  Leaders who have succeeded in this regard, have learned what it takes to effect deep and sustainable change. Have a look at some powerful approaches that can be applied in your own company. The authors of “Influencer” provide some insightful understanding and useful tools concerning how we can increase the success of our change efforts.  They start with the viewpoint that all complex problems are rooted in human behaviour. Problems prevalent in large corporates are no different.  Failure to effect change arises when we address the problem from a single angle instead of multiple angles. Persistent problems are generally persistent because they have many root causes.  Eradicating only one root cause fails to dislodge the problem. Research has shown that if one adopts a multi-pronged approach to dealing with complex problems (such as a company’s failure to become customer-centric despite ongoing efforts) one can increase one’s success rate ten fold. “Influencer” tells us of six sources of influence:

  • To stimulate motivation at a personal level, identify the critical behaviours that need to change, and align them to a higher purpose or value.  It isn’t easy to identify the critical behaviours though, and this is where Customer-Mind can do the relevant research for you.
  • Invest into building the relevant skills required in the critical behaviours already identified.  Customer-Mind runs skills development workshops pertaining to customer orientation and service excellence, and is able to source other suppliers, if you wish, for other skills requirements.  Sometimes people are willing to change, but they just don’t have the real ability to do so.
  • Identify those in the organisation that have greater influence over their peers than the average person.  Once these people are on board, they play a powerful role influencing others without even trying to.  Scientific studies show that people are influenced by their peers far more than they realise.
  • Large problems cannot be solved by one person.  Enlist social capital and help those around to see that they too are affected by the problem and that they can be more effective by choosing to be part of the solution. Customer-Mind is available as a resource to help you overcome the hurdles to becoming a customer-minded organisation.
  • Incentives and rewards are very tricky change tools.  If used in the absence of the afore-mentioned approaches, they can backfire severely and create the opposite of the desired result.  Speak to Customer-Mind next time you want to enhance or create a new incentive or rewards programme.
  • The sixth change tool is unusual.  Leaders frequently forget the power of the corporate environment on the behaviour of their staff.  Sometimes a simple change, such as lighting or proximity or well-placed posters, can have a greater influence than we give credence to.  Customer-Mind is able to assist you in this regard.

Muhammed Yunus (2006  Nobel Peace Prize Winner) said: “Ideas can change the world – but only when coupled with influence – the ability to change hearts, minds and behaviour.”