Growth Riffs Summary Logo

This week’s focus: A week or so ago we returned from our family holiday in Ibiza. We had a beautiful villa – a private pool, a shady garden and a gorgeous view of the sea. In fact, the only slightly unusual aspect of the villa was the fact that naturists were staying in the neighbouring property.

At the start of our break, our three teenage boys were appalled by the sight of a group of naked people strutting about next door with everything on show. By the third night, however, their attitude had changed slightly, and they went for a late night ‘skinny-dip’. Naked swimming became more common as the week went on and by the end of the holiday the boys were wearing fewer clothes than our naturist neighbours!

When it comes to change management, you can’t ‘change’ people, you can only change the environment in which they operate. If you want your people to be more customer focused, for example, don’t simply demand that they change their behavior. Instead, focus on creating a new, more customer-focused environment – become a customer-obsessive role model, reward those who are most customer focused and bring customer feedback to the fore of your management reports, for instance.

If you do this, you will find, over time, that your people will change their behaviour. Perhaps not everyone will change – you’ll be delighted to learn that my shorts remained firmly ‘on’ throughout the week – but most people will, and that’s the naked truth!

What steps are you taking to create an environment that encourages the ‘right’ behaviours for your business?

Off the record: Stupid Marriage by The Specials

I was walking down the street one night

When I saw here silhouette in her bathroom light

Her way of life may be nothing to hide

With her frosted class shattered, curtains open wide

Naked women, naked man

Where did you get that nice sun tan?

You live in a castle built of sand –

Naked woman, naked man

© Stuart Cross 2016. All rights reserved.