What Is Necessary to Promote Change?

On a recent trip with friends, we visited a hotel that did not recycle cans/bottles/containers.  I found this quite troubling because it was a hotel in Las Vegas where there are surely a huge number of cans and bottles, everywhere throughout the hotel.  I was asked for feedback from the check out personnel.  My feedback was my shock and disappointment that the hotel did not have a recycling program.  She too was in agreement with my position and told me that some of the staff informally take home the bottles/cans but it is not a widespread movement.  However this was not the conversation that I am going to refer to in this entry.

It was actually a conversation about the topic with a friend of mine.  His position was that it is hard to get a movement going, it isn’t easy, and that it (a recycling program) wasn’t a moneymaking endeavour for the hotel… so might as well just throw everything away…..even though the benefits in terms of minimizing waste, material use, and landfill are well known.  Sound familiar?  This made me think about what it would take to get change to happen, and one that is clearly worthwhile.  In our world of education, many see the value of change, but we still experience my friend’s type of resistance or reluctance.  So what are the things that are necessary for change, no matter the context?  What are some things that a leader, peer leader, or anyone must address or do to promote change?

  • Those who are reluctant often may be overwhelmed by the thoughts of how much work the change will need to make it happen.  So CHUNK it down and show the value in each step, and the end goal.
  • Don’t hide the fact that everything worthwhile requires EFFORT.  Be upfront about this and link it to the value of the change.
  • Promote the positive(s) of the change and focus on that, not all the EXCUSES that get in the way of forward movement.
  • Get people to see/realize that the other side of change is OPPORTUNITY.
  • Help people have faith in those who have done the thinking about change and the goal of the change is IMPROVEMENT.

We all know that it takes a lot of time and effort to do all the bullets, and a lot of practice, so that is my final piece.  If you want to promote change, it takes a lot of practice to promote and carry out the process.

What do you think is necessary to promote change?


1 Comment

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One response to “What Is Necessary to Promote Change?

  1. I think that having vision is crucial in order to promote (and sustain) change. Even if people fully understand and know the importance or value for change (in whatever context), if there is no vision for why there is a need for change and the impact it can/will have, people have a tough time buying in. Many of the points you mention would be important in crafting this vision for change that you talk about. Along with this, I think it’s helpful and important that the right person deliver the call for change – some people are better at communicating a captivating vision for change than others. This person will also have to sustain the momentum for change – creating vision is the easy part, sustaining it over a long period of time is what’s difficult.

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