What if culture change cost no money and was fun?

Posted in: Change, Contrary Advantage, Diversity, Engagement- Sep 01, 2010 No Comments

My conscious interest in change dates back to the Cuban Revolution in the 1950’s and later was reinforced by memories of the devastation in Germany after World War II. Then traveling or living in conflict-ridden areas, the question of how to make change that did not trigger a backlash or cause so much destruction became a life quest.

After years of struggling, frustration and experimentation  I realized that many of the most effective change methodologies are free. We can use them anytime – if we choose. The problem is that we may not recognize them, because they may be too far under our radar of what we believe triggers change.

Some examples of effective, free tools for change include: a handshake, a smile, a kind word, a diplomatic way of telling our truth, a sincere desire to listen (even when we do not like what we hear). These cost only good will, compassion and emotional maturity on our parts. Leaders in troubled groups have found that these and other simple behaviors can reach people who have been cynical for years and have rejected more expensive, “sophisticated” methods. Simple, sincere, genuine behavior without fancy declarations can build trust and work for peace (and profitability) in a community or a business.

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