Walter: We really should get together and have coffee sometime Bob: Alright, let's stay in touch.
Many of us reading this will recollect similar conversations. They are either spontaneous or deliberate as we are not keen for that coffee. Whether the conversation is accidental or not, the fact is nothing will ever come of it. The conversation in itself sounds enthusiastic and positive. Both seem to agree but none has committed anything. Even if there were no rendezvous' a year down the line, no one could blame the other. This example is harmless in reality. However, if it were a matter of setting goals, bringing about change, and attaining success, the agreement would have to be very solid. There must be commitment between all parties involved.
When we talk off commitment to change, people generally ask themselves 'What's in it for me?' Usually people will be more committed to change when the change brings along interesting benefits. However, are the benefits clear to everybody from the beginning? Let's start with a few simple questions you can ask yourself to increase your awareness of your own commitment towards change.
What exactly is happening in my organization?
What are the underlying factors of the organizational change?
How much does the vision of this change appeal to me?
What possibilities do I see for myself and for the organization when we implement these changes?
Are there any opportunities for me?
You understand that there's a difference between commitment towards a cup of coffee and a change process. Obviously you won't pose these questions when deciding over a coffee. However, when in a change these questions are very much important. Any reaction to change is legitimate and it is essential that it is allowed to be expressed. Suppressed or unexpressed reactions often result in resistance to change.
Having said this, you might be curious to know your own answers and the ones from your colleagues, professionals, board members and perhaps even from your clients, if involved. Do you know their answers? If not, can you predict their answers? It is worthwhile to start a discussion around the topic 'commitment to change'! Because we all know that no commitment to change means no change at all.
Walter: I would like to invite you for a cup of coffee tomorrow 6 PM, what say? Bob: Okay Walter, I'll see you tomorrow in my office to discuss our personal answers to these questions. Walter: Sure Bob, let's take some time to discuss this thoroughly. I'm curious to your answers!