This world is in dire need of driven, motivated and fearless change-makers. To make the road a bit less bumpy we combined our insights with the insights and learnings of people we met during my sustainable action journey into the “10 Do’s & Don’ts for Change Makers.”
Do: Question your assumptions. Why do you want certain changes to happen? What assumptions and beliefs are your vision of the future based on?
Don’t: Start Change conversations with the goal to convince. Sustainable change starts with a deep understanding of the situation. Start your conversations with the aim to listen and understand not to directly convince someone that something needs to change.
Do: Collaborate with others. Share skills and best practices. Form teams and unite as a front for positive change. “Alone you go faster together you go further”.
Don’t: Think in boxes. Hop in your mind helicopter and try to see the bigger picture. When you take a step back it’s a lot easier to truly understand and see the leverage points for sustainable change and impact.
DO: Define a moonshot. A star on the horizon, your ultimate goal. And make it tangible. Make a high-level roadmap to achieve your goal.
Don’t: Think & believe that change-makers are always in leading positions. Not all hero’s are leaders. You can create a lot of positive change from any position within your organization.
Do: Use social proof. Show your organization, coworkers or management what other companies are doing. Show them examples of impactful change.
Don’t: Be too protective of your impact ideas and initiatives. We are facing wicked problems as humanity and we can only solve them if we truly collaborate and dare to leave our old fully individualistic mindset behind.
Do: Keep an eye out for the intention-action gap. Go beyond “change on paper” and pay attention to your own and others’ behaviour, actions and decisions.
Don’t: Fall into the Data Trap. Yes, showcasing data is important. But it’s key to find the right moment and don’t start dropping numbers in initial conversations.
And, just to put the cherry on top we want to add an eleventh. A DON’T that seems obvious but is often overlooked. DON’T underestimate the power of the butterfly effect. The butterfly effect is the concept or idea that small actions can have a non-linear and significant impact on a complex system. Or in simpler terms small action can lead to huge changes. It’s called the butterfly because of the idea that a tiny butterfly flapping its wings somewhere in a meadow can cause a typhoon. Very simple actions, with seemingly few variables can have unpredictable and significant consequences. The butterfly effect ties in beautifully with systems thinking, a scientific approach to understanding a system as its whole, including all its variables, connections and patterns. A butterfly is one of those actions or things that go often on noticed when thinking in systems but that can have a huge effect. True change-makers don’t forget about the butterfly’s.
Do you want to become a leading change-maker within your organization? But you don’t know how to get started? Or maybe not how to convince your management it’s time to take action on sustainability?
Hop over to our course “How to convince your management to take action on sustainability” and kick-start your change-maker career.
Or of course, shoot us a message to see how we can help you accelerate positive change.
Have a great rest of the day!