When working with clients on optimizing a business, a process, and/or systems that ultimately affect a process, one of the considerations when thinking about change management is how people adapt and process change. Habits are a key fundamental of change and to recognize and understand that new habits require time to form is critical of business process change. There is a tendency in a business process change that people with adapt quickly, and rarely is that the case. Consider how difficult forming new habits in our personal lives are; it’s like starting that new diet every Monday, not a habit just an idea.
Forming new habits is a time-consuming, painstaking, and deliberate methodology. The Power of a Habit, published by Charles Duhigg, provides incredible insight into the psychology, an understanding of human nature, and its potential for transformation. In this book, he discusses the habit in three steps; cue, routine, and reward, and by changing one part of that loop, again the cue, routine, and reward then the new habit begins to form. Lastly, willpower is a critical part of changing the habit.
Here are some things to consider when transforming and developing new habits:
- Identify current habits to see if they are worth keeping or not; with business process change looking at the outcome of the process relative to time and or energy expended. We all love having time back in our workday so emphasize this benefit.
- Establish cues and use them to start forming good habits, it is critical to recognize when a habit is changed with our team or an individual within our team. That one moment of recognition goes a long way.
- Set up rewards to reinforce positive habits; determine what rewards incentive a team or individuals towards change. Incentives can be monetary, a team event outside the office, or recognition of an individual or team. Find what works best for the team and develop a new habit of providing rewards.
- Change your routine to get rid of unwanted habits; change the cadence of when the work is to be performed, and while this might not be possible to change a day for a process; a change in time can invoke that new habit.
So, what are the key things to remember; forming new habits take time, diligence, patience, and an acknowledgment of the psychology of change within the brain. Understanding how habits are formed and unformed provides an advantage in supporting, coaching team members when implementing business process changes. The key here is that habits are a key fundamental of change.
Want to learn more about optimizing your business engine? Reach out to us. xSynergy Solutions is a full-service business transformation firm located in Centennial, CO. We impact every aspect of your business from marketing to operational strategies. Learn more at xsynergysolutions.com.