Blue Dots: The missed opportunity with the Green Dot approach to Change Management
For the past few years we’ve been talking about the green dot approach to change management. Essentially, this is a simple method to categorise and identify those people in an organisation who are open to change (green dots), those who are sceptical but open to change (amber dots) and those who just aren’t ready or willing to change (red dots). This approach has been useful for identifying those people who can support the change goal or mission and more importantly the ones to sidestep.
I like this approach and I’ve found it useful to identify the key players that can help me implement strategic change across all different levels within the organisation. However I think we are missing a trick - what about the ‘blue dots’?
In my opinion, blue dots to me are those people who are joining the organisation with no expectations, a fresh perspective and are willing to adopt a new normal. In addition, identifying blue dots are a great deal easier than trying to ascertain who are green, amber or red within a large organisation.
Having worked with some of the largest organisations in Europe and the Middle East, I’ve seen how difficult it can be to identify, categorise and devise a plan to create groundswell for sustained change (although not impossible). Some organisations I have worked with on-boarded upwards of 50 new hires per week. They often go through induction and training programmes, that haven’t been updated in sometime, align to the current organisational strategy or create conditions for future change.
Blue Dots are full of enthusiasm, energy, ideas and are intrinsically motivated to help others as they on-board. During this time of on-boarding it’s essential that the ‘blue dots’ are nurtured to embed the ideal behaviours of the change that we are looking to instil. I was pleased to see that during my first week of starting at Content and Code all new employees go through an induction that included how to connect and collaborate with the team and other departments. As a recent new hire myself I attended the session that focused on why, what and how Office 365 is used to connect, collaborate and get work done. What really amazed me in this session was seeing my colleagues’ (other blue dots) ‘light-bulb’ moment, where they see something for the first time and it just makes sense. I used to love seeing customers go through this, but seeing my new colleagues go through this was just a pleasure.
I've seen a number of organisations successfully implement a blue dot strategy, without it being labelled as such. However I've only recently given it thought as a result of my own personal experience joining a new organisation.
1. Think about how you engage with ‘blue dots’ and how they can support you.
How can this group of people help support the change, whether it be leading by example or positively influencing others?
2. Spend time to communicate with blue dots.
Articulate the context of why this is important to the organisation, explain and explain again what’s in it for them!
3. Build the desired change programme into existing induction programmes.
Leverage the current inductions that take place, if you’ve not sat in one or you’re unfamiliar of the content, take time to observe.
How do you engage with blue dots and bring them along the change journey? What strategies or approaches have you used successfully to convert blue dots to green dots?