More on Habit Change

Every wondered how to change organizational habits? The habits of an entire organization are made up of the individual habits each employee (and sometimes customer) brings to work every day. All of these individual habit cycles (as discussed in a previous blog) add up to create the overall habit dynamic within your organization. If you want to change the overall habit of your organization, you’ll have to think bigger. Now, here’s the bummer….old habits never go away! Deep inside everyone’s brain every habit they’ve ever had (yes, you as well) is still intact. The reason the old habits doesn’t surface is that a new habit has been placed over the old habit. Encourage the new habit, and the old habit stays subdued. Remove the new habit, and the old cue, routine, reward will surface again. With that said then, if you want to change an organizational habit – create a new habit. Here’s a courtesy inspection example again:

Old Habit

Cue = vehicle enters my bay

Routine = grab check sheet before I pull it out and slide my pencil through all the check boxes

Reward = get my next job

New Habit

Cue = Inspection sheet handed to me with the dispatched repair order

Routine = inspection starts when I go out to get the vehicle

Reward = more work gets sold, I make more money!

In order to lay the new habit over the old, you have to be conscious about it. Hold a shop meeting where you will discuss the new cue and routine. (The reward will follow these on its own, although even a “great job” can be more than enough of a reward). You will have to train on the new cue and routine, remind everyone about the new cue and routine, and manage the formation of the new habit, but at the end of it all you’ll have a new organizational habit that will make everyone more money!


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