How many emails were in your inbox this morning? What time was your first meeting? When did your first reminder pop up on your phone? The leaders I work with in higher education, and leaders in general, feel the pressure to keep moving forward and tackle “what’s next.”
In fact, knowing that you have taken action on the change effort you are leading (our topic in September) may feel like an opportunity to shift your energy away from the change. Yet, the reality we all face, without continued effort and reinforcement, humans struggle to truly adopt the new habits and behaviors required to succeed after the change has been implemented.
Even changing simple habits requires more work and takes longer than we think. I know I am still struggling to write this blog every Wednesday morning and we have been at it for nearly two years! Traditional wisdom used to suggest that it took 21 days to learn a simple habit. More recent research indicates that number is a myth and even simple behavior changes require about 61 days. The changes in behaviors, activities, mindsets and culture we are asking our people to make at work likely will take even longer!
During October we will be writing about different ways for leaders to reinforce the new normal after you have implemented a change. Yes, as a leader you do need to keep moving forward, while ensuring the sustainability of your change effort.
Good luck with those emails that piled up while you were reading this. 😉