Motivational Speakers On Embracing Change

motivational speaker Kelly Swanson recommends helping long time employees adapt to change, so you have the right people on the busUpdate 4/22/13:  Since I wrote this post, I have had three other companies talking about this very same issue. Apparently telling your story is gaining appeal and value in the workplace.

Motivational Speakers Teach Others to Embrace Change

I'm seeing a new pattern emerge in my clients who book me to come do what keynote motivational speakers do – help their employees embrace change and get motivated. I'm seeing a lot of clients making a shift from utilizing employees to perform based on a job description, to employees who actually act as entrepreneurs within the organization. Wow. What a shift. Not easy to take a bunch of employees who are quite comfortable with clocking in, doing their tasks, and clocking out - and telling them that now they are going to function as entrepreneurs and problem solvers. If you thought it was hard selling them that new software system – try telling them that now they won't even have a desk – that instead of filling out these forms all day, they will actually assess the validity of these forms – that instead of using this left side of their brain, they are going to start using the right.

And as you can imagine, these changes are not going over well with many employees. People fight change anyway – but changes like this to an employee who has been there for thirty-five years – are particularly monumental. (I'm picturing the day I tried to show my grandmother how to do Facebook when she never learned how to operate a computer.)

And now my job description as their motivational speaker has become even more challenging as I try to tell them that they can do something I'm not sure I could do myself. Which brings me back to the question I ask myself over and over – how do we motivate people? And the answer I keep coming back to – we can't. Motivation is not an outward thing. I can't do it for you or give it to you. I can only walk you through it, and then let you go. We can't motivate employees to do what they need to do from the inside. So do we just say "Oh well!" and move on to find people who are already motivated? Maybe. But I think there's something we can do first. I think we can change the story.

Businesses are all about services and features and benefits and bottom lines.But people aren't impacted by services and features and benefits and bottom lines. They are impacted by stories. The story of the company and how it affects the world. The story of how they as employees affect the bottom line and in turn affect the world. The story of their customers and how their lives are better because of that company. People remember and buy into what they have an emotional connection with – and that's NOT information – it IS the story.

So I think that before we walk away and put those employees in the category of "can't be helped, let's find someone better" we owe it to them to help them motivate themselves – by giving them a story they can believe in, and take ownership in.

Here's an interesting blog post I read today – that was so well timed. http://www.openforum.com/articles/harvard-lecturer-explains-how-to-get-employees-to-think-like-entrepreneurs/

 

About

Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
800-303-1049
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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Comments

  1. Kelly,

    As a professional motivational speaker, you make a couple of great points.

    • No organization can thrive, in the long-term, without the right people on the bus.
    • It can be difficult to get current employees to go along with (and embrace) changes.

    I like the perspective you take that current/long-term should be given the opportunity to grow and change along with the times. It comes down to loyalty. Companies that expect loyalty from their employees need to show loyalty to those same employees – something that is not seen all that often anymore.

    I think you have the right idea when you say that storytelling needs to be used to reach employees in the midst of change. In my experience, nothing breaks through resistance and mental barriers like a well crafted story. 

  2. Thanks Kelly – I always say that I can't motivate people, I can only create an environment conducive for people to be motivated in.  And, Bill, thanks for the comment - I wondered what the bus had to do with Kelly's post!  Gotta have the right people on the bus!  And, the bus has to be comfortable, and headed in the right direction!

  3. My funny, story-telling motivational speaker friend has done it again! Your roots in storytelling will continue to bring light and enlightenment to thousands and soon milliions worldwide because you are right on. Keep encouraging all of us to tell our stories to move us closer to success.

  4. Kelly Swanson, you may be an EXTREMELYL funny motivational speaker, but you are also one brilliantly smart woman. I think at the bottom of it ALL – all we have are our stories. And that's the way everything started, right? I have this image of early man sitting around a fire, grunting his stories. We HAD to tell our stories! Here's what happened, here's what might happen, here's why, here's what's important…  Stories. 

  5. Kelly Swanson, oh amazing one, you may be an EXTREMELYL funny motivational speaker, but you are also one brilliantly smart woman. I think at the bottom of it ALL – all we have are our stories. And that's the way everything started, right? I have this image of early man sitting around a fire, grunting his stories. We HAD to tell our stories! Here's what happened, here's what might happen, here's why, here's what's important…  Stories. 

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