We Most Support Change That We Co-Create
When it comes to introducing a team or organizational change of consequence, the best leaders make sure to give team members the ability to help craft it. People place a great deal more value on what they help to create then they do on changes imposed upon them. As any leader can tell you, when people value the change, they get behind it and drive it toward a successful transformation.
Known as the IKEA Effect, we place a disproportionate value on those ideas, products, and services that we create or co-create. The name refers to the Swedish furniture retailer that sells many household items that require assembly.
The bottom line is that we admire the fruits of our own labor. When we construct or assist in the creation of just about anything, we overvalue the resulting outcome. In fact, the more effort we put into creating something, the more we value it.
While assembling furniture may make people feel competent, pride of ownership carries the most weight when it comes to understanding how the co-creation of change makes such a difference. Think of people you know who build or remodel their own homes, design and craft their own furniture, take apart and fix their own phones or laptops. They overvalue the creations produced by their hard work almost every time.
When leaders ask team members to become involved in creating the change that will affect the organization, any resistance to the new ideas falls away. Instead, team members dig in and begin the work it takes to figure out how to make the change happen. The power of asking others to participate in the change before it is introduced to the organization cannot be overstated.
As Peter Senge wisely said, “People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.” Leaders who ask team members to help to bake the change don’t feel like a diner. They feel like a chef. The value they place on what they create makes change more successful. That’s a change worth assembling.
Getting people to change is more complex than that. I was inspired by what Randall shared with Ryan Holiday during their interview for Ryan's Daily Stoic Leadership Challenge. Enough so, that I wrote it down: 1) Spend time listening to people and try to understand what is working/not working. Nobody wants to change until they feel they've been heard. 2) Once people feel heard, the next step is to share a vision that people can buy into and get behind. 3) Next comes choosing the people who will be part of the go forward team and those who will not. 4) Once you have a team in place, get together and make a conscious choice to commit to the vision. Publicly agree that we are in this together and that we're going to do it.