Change resilience is the ability to adapt to change in a faster and more full way. This core competence plays an important role for organizations looking to grow and stay relevant, yet people often mistake the key to developing change resilience.
It’s not just about speed or the tools being used. To understand more, you must think about why we do the things we do: either we want to or we have to.
How Motivation Affects Change Resilience
Some of our actions are driven by external rewards such as salaries, bonuses, and other incentives. Many people work because they have to—not because they want to—and their salary provides ample motivation to do whatever their boss wants them to do. But as soon as they win the lottery, they’re out the door.
When we’re intrinsically motivated, on the other hand, we do things we believe are right. We take action based on our internal compasses or value systems; we volunteer or create art. Intrinsic motivation makes us do things we want to do and are proud to do.
Much has been written about the various kinds of motivation, but here’s what’s most relevant when it comes change resilience: people must believe that the change will make a difference. A person’s pride in making an impact is a crucial component of their ability to adapt to change faster and follow through. For that reason, an intrinsically motivated person will have a far better chance of developing strong change resilience.
The Failures of Organizational Change Management
Most organizations are not set up in a way to enable intrinsic motivation and that poses a problem for seeding change resilience. Many companies have top-down cultures where employees are treated, not as independent decision makers, but as “process operators”. A focus on mandates and adherence means employees might help to execute a strategy, but they don’t own it.
I’ve observed the demeanor of countless people who think change is being forced upon them. Feeling powerless, they become very passive. They internalize the message “you don’t want my brain, you just want my hands.”
Driving Successful Transformation Through Co-Creation
Making room for intrinsic motivation can be a major challenge for organizations, but it’s well worth it. By giving people the opportunity to make choices based on data, you can create an environment where every person is treated with respect and feels energized around change. That’s why Strativity designed a co-creation process that makes each and every individual part of the decision making, and we’ve seen an excellent success rate for transformation and change initiatives as a result.
When you own a stake in something, you are invested in making it work and moving it forward. That is the secret ingredient of change resilience.