20 March 2009

Human will and human won’t

The latest Gurteen Knowledge Cafe was hosted by HM Treasury, was facilitated by Kate Hopkinson and addressed the subject of Human will and human won't, i.e. the reasons why change can be difficult.

We got to see little of HM Treasury at 1 Horseguards Parade as the meeting room was close to the entrance but it is impressive from the outside and there were a couple of quick glimpses of a courtyard and an atrium.

I'm pleased to say that there was not too much evidence of our money being wasted on furnishing and fittings.

The session topic was based on the work Kate Hopkinson does at Inner Skills with a model she calls Landscape of The Mind.

This shows how actions and behaviours are driven by our individual inner skills that can be categorized into six sections (essentially a 2x3 matrix) which she draws like a map of the Earth, hence the use of the term "Landscape".

Without going into too much of the detail, what the Landscape of The Mind shows is that different people have different comfort zones so in trying to implement a business change we need to be aware that we are sometimes introducing discomfort and that we need to manage it.

Unfortunately the facilitator took rather longer than usual in introducing the topic and that rather limited the discussion that we could have in the Cafe. However, quite a few of us made the short walk to St Stephen's Tavern and were able to continue the discussion.

As usual, I made a few notes of learnings and ideas to explore further, including:
  • You need to engage with people that reflects the way they work rather than the way that you do.
  • This means using a mix of messages and media to engage with a diverse group of people.
  • We adjust our style without thinking as we move between people and groups that we know but when engaging with new people and groups we have to start with a flexible and neutral stance and then adapt to the norm - and they will be reacting to us too.
  • Motivating people (carrots) to change is an inexact science as you need to understand what really motivates them and how they ill adapt to the new rules.
  • Similarly for punishment (sticks), this only works if people understand why they are being punished and can accept the reason for this, otherwise you just built resentment.
  • Give people time to play with the new rules so that they can adapt at their pace and in their way.
  • Is there a meta-model here that includes Belbin, Myers-Briggs, right/left brain, etc.?
I think that what I posted on Twitter when I got home is a good summary of the event (that's the power of the 140 character limit), "The Gurteen Knowledge Cafe was OK and the talk in the pub afterwards was excellent, so it was another superb evening overall :-)".

1 comment:

  1. There are a mumber of such models. I don't think this stood out from the crowd and I wasn't convinced that there was a research background to it. Nevertheless it could have its uses.


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