Smile and Say Change!

There is a reason apps like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook are so popular: We love to see people doing cool stuff. Images help us connect with people and experiences. They help us relate. Pictures can stir emotions. Who hasn’t smiled at a cat falling off the couch or a dog whose tail wags its entire body??
 
Now consider how many people post moments reflecting the changes in their lives, both happy and sad. Pictures help us stay connected and experience a little bit of each other’s lives.
 
While getting my booster shot I noticed a sign saying, “Please ask permission before taking a picture with health personnel.” There have been a lot of vax selfies! It has been helpful to see the pictures of celebrities, friends, and family posting about their Covid experiences – both good and bad. The overwhelming number of positive experiences give us hope that we can make it through. The bad experiences ensure we go in with our eyes open. 
 
A powerful tactic when implementing change is to snap a photo or video of the moment when the first group tries out the change. Leaders are a common target, but it can be anyone with influence. Sometimes just the fact they are first gives them influence with the audience. Leaders are great to put on camera but sometimes it’s even more powerful to see other employees like ourselves taking that critical first step.

During a program where stakeholders were quite ambivalent about the change, a member of my team called up an SVP and asked him if we could capture him trying out the new software. Frank was happy to do it and in our next newsletter we featured his picture trying it out with a smile. The change became personal. It showed a willingness of leaders to participate in the challenge of change. I’ve made photos and videos a standard element of my change plan.

We love selfies in the moment; at the finish line. Snap a photo at each point of positive change and share the experience. Text delivers the facts. Photos convey the emotion. It might just be the encouragement someone needs. 

Thoughtfully yours,
Jeff Skipper