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In this research, we found that a persistent set of small, orchestrated changes is the best approach to drive large and lasting change at an organization. These small changes, when made continuously over a period of time, have a compounding effect that drives larger change and transformation. We call this approach microchange management, or “micro is the new mega.” This approach is based on the Large Scale Adoption framework developed by Pramod Varma and Sanjay Purohit of the Societal Platform , an organization that addresses large, complex societal problems.
Microchange management is based on human motivation and behavioral theory — not templates and communications, which traditionally have been infrequent, impersonal, and generic. Daily short stand-up meetings ensure change initiatives stay in sync with rapidly evolving needs, and require smaller benchmarks to measure progress. The sum of many microchanges brings about the larger change, creating a cumulative effect that delivers nonlinear improvements with greater likelihood of overall success.
We studied 150,000 Infosys workers across 2,500 projects before and during the pandemic to understand how microchange methods were applied on a companywide reskilling initiative. By only changing one learning parameter at a time and providing a steady stream of gentle positive reinforcement, Routine+1 gradually yet successfully changed employee behavior. It reduced friction to learning using a series of individualized nudges on our learning platform. Previously, online training required formal coursework that might take an hour or a series of them that could require an entire day, offered periodically and requiring formal registration. This often became an all-or-nothing scenario, where employees delayed training due to perceived lack of time. Once training was deconstructed to smaller modules and intelligent email nudges provided, employees found it easier to consume training and steadily progress. The result: Infosys employees now average 35 minutes per day on proactive reskilling, which in turn helps them develop new routines and meet learning and business objectives.
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