I think that a good percentage of why consistent and sustainable change does not occur is that we expect that change will just happen and once people are shown / trained in the new change.
The thing is, people can be shown the change (knowledge) and even have the ability to succeed in the change but it has to become a habit.
How is a habit formed? Through constant conscious effort – then, after time it becomes unconscious and sustainable.
Reinforcement of a change is an aspect of the change process which is often overlooked. Projects often overlook the need to include reinforcement of the change in their overall plan. The project needs to continue (and not be considered finished) until the change is automatic for the people involved.
Think about a personal project that you may have on the go at the moment – new years resolutions are a good one. Let’s say that we want to drink more water. We ‘expect’ that this will be easy to implement during our day, but generally after a couple of days we have already forgotten or become inattentive on our quest. We need to accept that anything that we change must be at first conscious – set alarms or put up reminders to drink water…after a period of time those reminders will not be needed – the change becomes unconsciously managed.
What are some techniques for achieving sustained change that you have played with or use on a regular basis?