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/