How to Get People to Change (for the Greener): Part 7


In February 2010, SSC President, Jennifer Woofter, commented on points made by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (of Made to Stick fame) in an article featured in Inc., How to Get People to Change.  In the article, the authors discussed their new book on change management and Jennifer thought that it was a fascinating look at what it takes for people to shift their thinking and their actions.

There's a technique we talk about in the book: looking for the bright spots. When you face a change situation, you're often demoralized and depressed. Instead of focusing on what isn't working, you need to shift people over to thinking, What have we done in the past that has been successful for us?

When we work with clients, we often use this technique—especially when employees want to “go green” but are skeptical or hesitant about whether or not it can actually be accomplished.  We ask them about a past work initiative that was successful, and try to figure out what characteristics of the project made it a winner. 

Once employees are able to articulate characteristics that make a workplace initiative a success, we are better able to help them plan effective guidelines for a sustainability program.  We can spot potential red flags early and guide our client around potential pitfalls.  By engaging employees in a process where they recall past successes, they are often able to grab hold of that enthusiasm and apply it to this new sustainability venture.

This process is integrated into the SSC Green Audit – one of our most popular services.  To learn more about the SSC Green Audit, click here.

This summer, we're giving sharing the best articles from the SSC website, going back eight years. The article above was originally posted on March 26, 2010. We'll be back in September with all new content. In the meantime, if you're interested in learning more about SSC, or working with an SSC consultant, please contact us!