I will be teaching this course at the University of Minnesota - on June 5-6. This course is part of the OD Certificate Program offered by the University of Minnesota - College of Continuing Education. Check out the link here: http://www.cce.umn.edu/Organization-Development-Certificate/index.html
Consequences.... Here's the deal - 80% of our behavior is controlled by short term consequences. 80% of all we do is likely controlled by consequences that occur immediately or very, very shortly after the behavior. So when you ask "why am I having so much trouble meeting my long term goals?" it is probably because the consequences are too deferred. Or, if you are running a change program and you are espousing the long-term WIIFM for your employees - chances are that the control of the short-term consequences are more powerful than your "long-term" message. I often times have to remind project sponsors that it is not enough to just have a robust communication and training plan - you also need to have a plan which reinforces the baby steps that start to approximate the long-term desired result. Easier said than done, of course.
Behavior... the things we say and do. This is the next piece of the puzzle I want to blog about. Have you ever found that when you are not adapting well to a change, your behavior has got you into some kind of trouble? For example, ever been in a "change situation" where you thought your co-workers could benefit from your infinite wisdom and knowledge? So you get heavy and lay it on them. Then you can't understand why they just can't seem to grasp the gold nuggets you left for them. But it sure felt good giving them a piece of your mind didn't it!
Our thoughts and beliefs tend to manifest in our behaviors. So when we have negative thoughts and beliefs about a change (whatever "it" is) - the likelihood of those thoughts playing out in our behavior is pretty good. Those behaviors have consequences. Some of which, you might not like. Like being excluded from upcoming activities, or being avoided. "One-upping" your colleague, or being a little sarcastic, or talking behind someone's back might feel good at the time - but in the grand scheme, it doesn't help change the change. As we re-frame our negative thoughts and beliefs during times of change, we also need to plan for positive behaviors that will move toward the goal. The next step is to set up encouraging consequences to sustain those "new" behaviors. Consequences - the next piece of the puzzle :)