Lots of people have opinions about behaviour change, but Alan AtKisson is the real thing…a corporate change guru who’s been inspiring people for decades.
Here’s a Triple Pundit article from a participant in one of his workshops who took away three invaluable tips for changing the world:
“AtKisson uses the metaphor of an amoeba to reflect the different roles people play within a system and how they affect decisions to adopt, ignore or resist new innovations…
He has identified a range of roles, including:
the Innovator, the person who invents a new idea, but is often overly enthusiastic about it;
Change Agents, people skilled at repackaging ideas and convincing people to try or adopt them;
Transformers, organizational gatekeepers who are interested in new ideas, but selective about which ones they allow past their filters; and
Mainstreamers, who tend only to adopt a change when all the incentives line up and when the people around them are all doing the new thing.
Then there are the Controllers. The advice was stay out of their way so they don’t kill an idea too soon!
Curmudgeons are pessimistic about change and can zap your energy…
While ignoring the Reactionary and Curmugdeon is a solid strategy, don’t forget to bring others along that eventually will be your allies.
The take home message–a Change Agent needs to create alliances with Innovators and Transformers and avoid the negativity of Crumudgeons, Laggards and Reactionaries. AtKisson concludes Chapter 9 of his book by saying, “Life is too short, and the stakes are too high, to waste time trying to sell ideas to people who oppose them, resist them or kill them – or who will sap a Change Agent’s energy.”