It’s true that Gordon Ramsay has great recipes, the best ingredients and cooking utensils.

However, give me these same things and I don’t instantly become a great chef.

Yes, Gordon Ramsay has to have his tools.

But he is a master chef because of his “application” of these tools, not the tools alone.

We can say the same thing for driving organizational change.

The industry focuses heavily on change management tools and templates, standards and methods.

While these are necessary, they are not enough to drive change.

We see this in the disappointing statistics on successful change.

Driving change involves the difficult task of trying to invoke and sustain human behavior impossible by the action of completing a template alone.

Action does not always equal outcomes.

Saying that, isn’t it time we matured our practices to include behavior based approach as part of our “application” to drive organizational change?

What Are We Cooking?

We would not start cooking without knowing what food we were trying to make.

The same goes for change.

When considering the scope and impact of change, we must consider what critical behavior(s) would need to occur in order to achieve successful change.

Not all behaviors are created equal.

Consider a change involving a new system and what business benefits and outcomes the new system is looking to deliver.

I am quite sure that the behavior of completing certain transactions (adding new customers, closing a sales transaction) in the system carry more importance and weight on overall ROI than other behaviors (logging on, deleting a record made in error, etc.)

When we think behavior first, our change strategy and plan better support the desired business outcomes

Create the Recipe

By now, we understand the critical behavior(s) needed to achieve successful change.

Our change strategy and plan should be in full alignment and support of these behavior(s).

This is where having the right recipe for change comes in.

By having the right strategy and plan we can focus our time and energies in the most efficient way possible in support of the desired business outcomes.

Additionally, positioning the change management strategy and plan in this way fully resonates with senior leadership and project personnel.

This is because the “why” of Change Management becomes fully transparent to them.

Test the Recipe   

Is this recipe any good?

Does it support what we were trying to make?

Finally, our adoption and sustainment measures should fully reflect and/or align to our critical behavior(s).

This also resonates with senior leadership and project personnel as they are no longer trying to decipher fuzzy change management metrics.

These metrics may or may not impact the business outcomes they want to achieve and may cloud the value of our change management effort.

I may never be as good of a chef as Gordon Ramsay.

However, using a behavior based approach to drive organizational change improves the chances of my change recipe being just right.

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