Track Progress And Show Value - Deepstash

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Why is change hard? 3 organizational designers explain how to beat the failure bias

Track Progress And Show Value

A habit gets formed when we do an action and repeatedly receive a positive result. However, with change, the benefits are often not immediately obvious.

You need to be able to track the behavior change you want to see in the workplace so you can have a sense of progress and reward. Ideally, use automated time and task tracking tools as they collect more data and are more precise than self-reporting.

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Completion bias

It's where your brain specifically seeks the hit of dopamine you get from crossing off small tasks and ignores working on larger, more complex ones.

Small wins and motivation

Out of all the things that can boost our mood and motivation, the single most important is making progress on meaningful work.

Just like we love crossing small tasks off our to-do list, being able to see that we’re even one step closer to a big goal is a huge motivator. The problem is that these “small wins” are hard to measure.

“Most of us make advances small and large every single day, but we fail to notice them because we lack a method for acknowledging our progress. This is a huge loss.”
“Most of us make advances small and large every single day, but we fail to notice them because we lack a method for acknowledging our progress. This is a huge loss.”
Successful behavior change

One potential problem when changing behaviors is that we're too often motivated by negatives such as guilt, fear, or regret.

  • Research found that long-lasting change in behavior is mo...
Change is a process

... not an event. The transtheoretical model (TTM) presupposes that at any given time, a person is in one of five stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance.

Each stage is a preparation for the next one, so you mustn't hurry through or skip stages.

Precontemplation

At this stage, you have no conscious intention of making a change. People in this stage tend to avoid reading, talking, or thinking about unhealthy behavior. However, their awareness and interest may be sparked by outside influences.

Leo Tolstoy

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Leo Tolstoy
About change

Organizations don’t change. People change. Many companies move to change systems and structures and create new policies and processes but fail to address the underlying mind-sets and capabilities of the people who will execute it.

A new strategy will fall short of its potential if they fail to address the mental attitude because people on the ground tend to continue to behave as they did before.

Looking both ways

Companies that only look outward in the process of organizational change, and dismiss individual learning and adaptation make two common mistakes:

  • They focus solely on business outcomes and fail to appreciate that people will have to adapt to implement it.
  • They focus too much on developing skills.