Is it really possible to “drive change?” You can drive cattle or you can drive a car but we’re not so sure about driving change!
There are three basic options to bring about change:
- 1 Force – this is the “change or die” premise. Forced change happens when leaders use their positional power or parents force kids to do something because they “said so.” When change is forced it is not sustainable. As soon as the force subsides the change evaporates.
- 2 Persuade – using influence to encourage someone to change is less intimidating than forced change. However, when change is taking place because of someone else, status quo can easily return when the charismatic change agent goes away.
- 3 Educate – when change appeals to a person’s enlightened self-interest the change will be sustained. Education explains the how, why and “what’s in it for me.”
The next time you need to create change consider your approach. Force, persuasion and education can all bring about change. The approach you choose determines whether the change is temporary or lasting.