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What is behavioural change?

Most organisations invest in leadership development because they want to create change. Change in individual performance, to drive organisational performance.

The problem is most programmes won’t create the change you are looking for.

Here’s why.

Because most programmes are built to simply develop a set of skills that ‘good’ leaders are deemed to need… which doesn’t fundamentally change behaviour. And that’s the bottom line, right? If you’re going to create real, deep-seated change, you need to know how to do exactly that.

What is behavioural change?

You want your leaders to have a whole set of skills and think and behave in a certain way – a way that supports your company culture, brings their best selves to work and creates an environment where others can show up as their best selves, too.

Our behaviours can be highly ingrained and become habits we perform automatically without thinking. We have all built up a set of habits and behaviours based on our experiences, and these can be very hard to break without conscious effort.

Neuroscientists estimate that it takes about 3-6 months to turn a new behaviour into a habit, so you have to work at it. But once it’s established, you’re home free. But, behavioural change is not just a science – it’s also an art. You can have all the facts and figures at your fingertips but human beings need more than that to make a change.

You can only change you

Ivy House Founder, Elke Edwards, was called into an organisation to talk about Graham’s team. He explained that while he had a number of people who were truly open to learning and taking on new ideas, they were in the minority. The rest were made up of two other groups – one he called ‘fence-sitters’; people who would do anything for an easy life, who never really got behind a new initiative but didn’t oppose it either. The other group he called the ‘old guard’. He described them as bullies, often silent dissenters, spreading negative energy and criticism about pretty much anything he tried to implement.

Elke recalls the conversation: “His question to me was: ‘How can I make those two groups change?’ My reply was ‘You can’t. You can only change you’. I asked him ‘what is it about the way you’re leading that makes thinking and behaving like that OK in your team?’ I pointed out that, by putting up with those two sorts of behaviour, he was making it OK. By not having conversations about what was really going on, he was pretending it wasn’t happening. I challenged him to consider how clear his staff were on his vision, the culture he was aiming to create and the behaviour he required from everyone.”

This example goes to show the critical role our leaders play in creating the behaviours that we want to see in our organisations. And, as Elke challenged Graham, it requires being truly open to learning and exploring our own behaviour as leaders and how this impacts those around us.

Behavioural change is both an art and a science

For change to happen we must understand the science – the mechanisms of human behaviour, how we work on a psychological, social and behavioural level – but the art is designing and delivering programmes that truly ignite change; that bring people to life, that engage them on a deeply personal level, that challenge and move them. This is about creating a place for people to expand into themselves, become courageous learners and step into their full power.

Your leadership programme must be anchored in the needs and wants of the individual, not the company. And then – once they’ve understood who they are, what kind of leader they are, what they really want, what keeps them stuck, where they are brilliant, etc – then, and only then, do you have the foundations to create true behavioural change.

That’s our expertise.

We are experts in leadership development and behavioural change. Our approach is truly unique and our results exceptional. Our programmes create transformational, long-term change in individuals, behaviour, performance and culture.





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