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Ideas and stories from my growth journey. Warning: If you are interested in a casual, comfortable life, this blog will be counterproductive for you.

Baking a “Change Cake”

Creating concepts is hard work, but it pales in comparison to creating change. I’ve tackled both idea creation and change management many times. A big part of my work at Chick-fil-A has been serving on teams charged to design and lead change. We know what we need to do. The research is done and the ideas are validated. But if no one changes their behavior, then the idea wasn’t actually helpful. Tweet This

So I get asked often: What’s the key to making change happen, especially in a big organization? Is it a grand event to inspire them? Is it active support from top leaders? Is it sharing measures? Is it coaching? Which element makes change happen?

The answer: None of them. And all of them.

Inspirational moments boost of energy and shift mindset. And we also need to track progress, ideally every day. The key people in our lives need to support, not undermine what we’re attempting. And having someone walk alongside you as a coach adds energy, accountability, and specificity to your change efforts.

Each of these elements is awesome. Each of these elements is a complex craft in its own right. But none of them alone results in lasting change.

chocolate cake

Creating real change is like baking a cake. No single ingredient makes a good cake, not even pure sugar tastes as good as a well made cake. (Trust me, I know. To properly research this post, I ate a piece of chocolate cake last night.) The better quality each of the ingredients, the better the cake. But all of the ingredients together result in something far greater than each item on its own.

This recipe works for a person trying to get in shape and it works for a multi-billion dollar company. Maybe you’ve tried changing something before and failed to sustain it. Maybe you were trying to make a cake with only one ingredient. This time, try using all the elements. You might be surprised at what’s possible.

photo credit: chocolate cake via photopin (license)

Scott WozniakBaking a “Change Cake”
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