Posts Tagged ‘mental model’

Changing The Organization

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Awhile back, I wrote a post about change, specifically about how individuals can change their mental programming with the use of mental imagery. But I posed the question, “How does an entire organization change – how can an entire company do mental programming?”

So, do you have the answer?

I’m waiting…

Okay, maybe I’ll take a stab at it – although I’d still like to hear your answer. You can always post a comment below.

Mental models… That’s really what we’re talking about. And that’s one of the many things that great leaders do: they paint a picture of the future, helping everyone in the organization to develop a mental model of what the changed future looks like.

Developing a mental model is really mental imagery, otherwise known as visualization. When a leader designs a picture of what the future looks like, change and all, others develop a clear mental model of that future. And, for whatever reason, our minds tend to follow the image we put in it. In other words, if you help create a mental image of what the future will look like, and I get a very strong, clear picture of it, my mind will do everything it can to ensure it happens as you’ve represented it.

“Change comes from within.” Sounds very Zen-like, doesn’t it? But it fits organizational change. Until the people within the organization change their model of the business, nothing you do to the organization will change. Think of this change as being an inside-out approach, instead of an outside-in one. You can change procedures, you can change processes, you can even change the people in the organization, but until a majority of people have a clear mental model of what the change looks like, feels like, and sounds like, nothing will transform.

But that’s just my mental model of change. What’s yours? How do you think organizations can create change?