Ironically, embracing change is nothing new to businesses. With every venture you launch, employee you hire, or even decision you make—you are asking your team to embrace something new and different. However, crossing the chasm between The Few and The Many has its challenges. You’ve likely spent a good deal of time accepting the change that you plan to implement. You’ve done a great deal of research and have concluded that this change has a great amount of benefits for your team. However, getting your team to actually take ownership of the new initiative takes time and effort, as their relationship with these ideas is different from yours.
It seems to me that implementing a change at any company is a lot like teaching math. In math, there are equations and theorems that need to be accepted as facts before the class can move forward. However, in any given math class there are always students that ask, “why?”
“Why do I subtract the remainder?”
“Why does the decimal need to move?”
“How do I know that a2 + b2 = c2?”
A good math teacher knows that it’s not enough to hand their students a list of equations to memorize-- the lesson simply won’t stick. In order to truly resonate, the students must come to the same conclusions as the mathematicians that invented these equations. This way, they will never wonder, “is there a better way?”
Any decision you make as a leader is a collection of smaller decisions that you’ve already accepted as facts.
“Our mission statement needs to be reevaluated.”
“We have a PR problem.”
“Fridays aren’t fun anymore.”
I believe that strong leaders recognize this and take the time to ensure that every team member sees the need for a change. Then, they guide their team to come to the same solution that they made for themselves. In this, they cross the chasm between The Few and The Many and empower their team to take ownership of something new and different.