The FIX conference is a movement to challenge the status quo and create necessary changes. In my talk, From Vision to Action, I highlight where we struggle to lead change, and steps we can take to bring our ideas to fruition.
What I see happen too often is that we abandon great ideas prematurely. We are passionate about our ideas, and inspired by them, but we throw in the towel for several reasons. Sometimes out of fear: we talk ourselves out of being able to do it. Or, we may lose momentum because of competing obligations: After all, we’re busy people already, and many of us wear several hats, both at work and at home. And we also may step away from an idea because we did not get the support or resources we needed, or frankly it seemed that no one else cared. For all these reasons we lose the momentum and enthusiasm that we had.
The problem is that creating change is hard work, and it is a skill set that most of us have not been trained or coached in. In my talk, I share four key strategies to move your vision to action.
1. Identify a true need for your idea. Your idea should be a solution to a problem. In the business world, this is called a value proposition: Your innovation has to have value to other people. In academics, we refer to this as a needs assessment. We show a need for our idea by defining the problem, so that we are not the unwanted solution to an unforeseen problem.
2. Create a clear vision statement: Think of your vision statement as your sales pitch. You know your idea is important, but you also will have to enroll other people in your idea in order for it to flourish. In your vision statement, define what success looks like, what are your goals and outcomes that your idea will bring to other people, and clearly outline the steps you plan to take to fully implement your idea, and reach your outcomes. While you do not need everyone to be on board, you often will need a specific person’s support. Your goal is that the person hearing your vision statement will be able to visualize what success looks like and how to get there and will thereby be convinced to support your idea.
3. Form your coalition: Your coalition is your idea family. They are your major supporters; these are the people that are just as passionate about your idea as you are. Your coalition are your ambassadors, who will spread the word about your idea. Coalitions should break all ideas of hierarchy. Include all stakeholders for your idea in order to gain a diverse perspective, and to best enroll those who will be effected by your idea.
4. Keep moving forward. Change takes time. While it can be exciting, there were always be some type of struggle for there to be progress. A change will always challenge the status quo, an area where overall people are comfortable. The natural reaction to change is going to be fear. People naturally question how the change will affect them personally. Our job as leaders of change, is to be the momentum that pushes through the barriers. We do this, by anticipating hurdles and barriers, and planning for them. It’s important to recognize that change happens when others begin to embrace the change and make their own transitions. We want to give people who are affected by our change the support they need to be successful through that change, so that we can get to a place where fear and resistance gives way to acceptance and optimism. Then we can start to see the benefits of our idea, and the outcomes we were hoping for. Positive reinforcement goes a long way, and we don’t do enough of it. Break up your idea into smaller goals, and celebrate small wins along the way. Recognize your achievements and recognize others as they make progress.
By applying these 4 strategies of Vision to Action, my hope is that you develop your own vision, and commit that vision to action. Our world needs people, like all of you, who will challenge the status quo, who will be the momentum to push through barriers and resistance in order to make important and needed changes.
Watch the FIX19 talk now!