Brighton Leadership Group

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Heat or Light?

Some people change when they see the light;
others when they feel the heat

This concept gets at the heart of change management which is about using the best approach for the person to help them change.  Some people need to be persuaded with the heat of consequences while others need to see the positive future that inspires them to change. The best approach is dependent on the person or group that is being asked to change.
Since change is the transition from a current state to a future state (from the ACMP Standard for Change Management ©) the critical question is, “how to accomplish the transition?” Not all transition is the same and not all transition needs to move at the same pace.
Tips for using light and heat:

  • Know your audience – who needs to change and what motivates them? Tailor your messages and your change approach to meet their needs, not yours.
  • Understand the transition – is it a big one or a small one? Does it need to happen fast or can it move at a more relaxed pace? Depending upon the answers it may be appropriate to change the ratio of light and heat.
  • Define success – does the transition need to be sustained? As the story below illustrates, forced change often creates resistance. People may comply with the change externally, but internally they are “wrapping their coats around them to protect themselves.”

The North Wind and the Sun 
The North Wind and the Sun disputed as to which was the most powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes.  The North Wind first tried his power and blew with all his might, but the keener his blasts, the closer the Traveler wrapped his cloak around him, until at last, resigning all hope of victory, the Wind called upon the Sun to see what he could do.  The Sun suddenly shone out with all his warmth.  The Traveler no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed and bathed in a stream that lay in his path.
The moral of this story…Persuasion is better than Force.
When you need to create change consider light and heat and use them to inspire people to change as well as help them feel the consequences of not changing. It’s better to use these persuasion techniques than force.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Articles

change succeed

4 Tips to Succeed When Leading at the Pace of Change

Would you say the pace of change has increased, decreased or remained the same? Your perception matters and it impacts every facet of your leadership. …

Read More →
strategies of successful leaders

Strategies of Successful Leaders

Over the last few weeks we recorded a series of videos addressing leadership challenges identified by members of the group Scott mentors from the Executive’s …

Read More →
lead with purpose

3 Ways to Lead With Purpose

We are celebrating Freedom week in honor of the Rebel Leader Community launch. You are free to lead with purpose is the theme of today’s …

Read More →
A curious leader

The Case for Curious Leadership

Nothing new comes from the status quo. There is no new awareness, no problem solving, no value creation, no innovation and no adaptability without asking …

Read More →
Scroll to Top

I look forward to speaking with you

Fill in your details and I’ll get back to you.

I look forward to speaking with you

Fill in your details and I’ll get back to you.

I look forward to speaking with you

Fill in your details and I’ll get back to you.