Don’t let your people change resolutions melt away | Blue Sky

Don’t let your people change resolutions melt away

We’ve all been there.

Come January, surrounded by messages of transformation, we become determined to root out all those limiting behaviours holding our team back. This year, we resolve to trounce the competition’s sales results and finally reach the top ten rankings for customer service. Refreshed by the festive break, we truly believe that we can create the change we want to see in our organisation through sheer personal will and passion.

And then, after a few weeks of striving, we remember.

Change is impossible.

Or so it seems. When your board is pushing back on spending budget on something as woolly as ‘people’, and the world is changing so fast you can barely keep up with the latest customer behaviour (let alone figure out how to work your new smartphone), and the goalposts for your team keep shifting, just clinging onto the status quo seems hard enough.

But here’s the good news… (Happy Christmas!).

You and the people around you are biologically programmed geniuses of change.

Yes, you read that right.

Even Grumpy Barry, who still sticks to customer scripts he learnt in 1986 and who greets the concept of change with the enthusiasm of a snowman facing a blowtorch.

Human beings have only got to the place they are now (world domination, Zumba, deep-fried Christmas pudding) by nailing change. Over hundreds and thousands of years, from opposable thumbs to the Internet, we’ve won the evolutionary race to become the dominant life-form on the planet thanks to one stand-out talent: our ability to adapt. All leaders need to do, then, is to tap into the little bits of the human code that have made our species so successful – those unique bits of cultural and social DNA that enable us to progress. Once we understand what those bits of code are, we can learn how to hack them in order to spread the kind of positive, resourceful, practical change we’ve been so good at for centuries – and that yet we somehow seem to forget as soon as we step into a meeting room.

It’s like the difference between trying to force yourself into a new gym routine by using strict targets motivated by fear and shame…  or using the latest behavioural science to shift your habits and beliefs in a way that exploits how your brain naturally operates.

Except… yeah, okay, so when we say that’s ‘all’ you need to do, we’re being a bit cheeky. Because, of course, this kind of lasting change does require serious commitment and effort – most probably including overturning some outdated assumptions in your business about how people change works.

But it’s no harder than the agonies we go through every New Year, feeling like we’re pushing a giant snowball uphill only for it to roll back down and shower us in cold wet ice. And this way, at least you get the results you’re striving for at the end of it: lower attrition, higher C-Sat scores, stronger sales and a climate where change can truly thrive (and more).

What’s more, the second bit of good news (Happy Hanukkah!) is that the elves at Blue Sky have developed a blueprint for this sort of change. We call it the Culture Code: a twelve-step process that combines our own three decades of experience and insight working with some of the best-for-service companies in the UK with the latest research in neuroscience, behavioural economics and evolutionary biology.

So what sort of techniques could you be using this New Year to make your people change finally stick?

You could be ‘doing stories’: learning from the primal behaviour of primate troop leaders by showing up for your teams in dozens of small ways every day: getting close to your people and repeatedly making bold gestures that express “this is the way we work now”.

You could be ‘nudging behaviours’: using the behavioural economics of nudge theory to encourage, stimulate, invigorate, inspire and tickle your people so that they stay alive, motivated and nimble every day.

You could be ‘cracking the code’: identifying the positive deviants who are driving most of your success, bottling their top-performing behaviours and mindsets, and then spreading them to the rest of your team through conversation and storytelling.

And that’s just the start.

So if you want to make 2019 the year when your resolutions become results, just drop us a line or an email at or even pick up the phone and call us on 01483739400 and let’s get started now.

True people change is science, but when you do it right, it really does feel like magic.

Just ask Grumpy Barry in six months’ time.

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