As change practitioners, our real power is the power of influence. It is unlikely that we have direct authority over very many of those who have to change. Our knowledge, skills, experience, methodologies, processes, assessments, and other tools are only as valuable as our ability to successfully apply them…to influence everyone from C-suite executives to line workers to make the shifts in thinking and behavior required for our change initiatives to be successful.
Like many of the managers and leaders we work with, most change practitioners find ourselves frustrated by our inability to influence the Millennial workforce. “Structural motivation,” the application of hierarchical consequences (or the threat of the same) does not drive Millennial behavior the same way that it has in previous generations raised in an more authoritarian “command and control” culture.
It is time for the change profession to greatly broaden our thinking on how to exercise the influence that is needed if we are to increase the success rate of implementing critical initiatives. Fortunately, we have as a resource Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler (the authors of Crucial Conversations). Their thoughtful observation and analysis of powerful influencers around the globe provides an elegant framework for thinking about—and exercising—influence; the “structural motivation” hierarchical reward and punishment that is at the heart of so many of our methodologies and practices is only one of the six forms of influence they lay out for us. Not only does Influencer open the door to powerful new ways of influencing Millennials; their insights are applicable across the full workforce.
Brian Gorman is the Managing Editor of Change Management Review™. In this capacity he regularly curates articles of importance to our readership; contributes original writing; hosts podcasts; and works with guest authors.
For more than five decades Brian has been engaged in—and a student of—change at the personal, organizational, and societal levels. During this time, he has worked with both individuals and organizations (ranging from solo practitioners to Fortune 100 businesses), guiding them through a wide array of challenges. Decades of experience have given him a deep appreciation of the universal patterns that underlie successfully navigating even the most difficult changes.
In addition to his work as our Managing Editor, Brian is a transformation coach, supporting both individual and organizational change. Brian is committed to passing his “lessons learned” on to others, so that their change journeys can advance more smoothly. He is a frequent workshop facilitator and public speaker. Brian is the author of “The Hero and the Sherpa,” a chapter in the online Handbook of Personal and Organizational Transformation (Springer Publishing; Judi Neal, Editor). He also has an extensive library of blog posts, articles, and videos on the change journey, including “The Ten Most Important Lessons I Have Learned Over 50 Years of Engaging Change.”
Mr. Gorman’s formal education includes a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Syracuse University, an MA in Higher Education Administration from the University of Texas, San Antonio and an MA in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma.
Brian is an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified coach, and is an active member in the New York City chapter. Brian is also a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and the Gay Coaches Alliance.
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