We wrapped up a KCS design workshop at Carestream Health yesterday. We closed with an exercise I love: the participants spent the last hour presenting what they’d learned, done, and planned to executives. This solidifies the learning, and it’s far more meaningful for executives to hear from the people who will be doing the work than from a consultant or program manager.
The team did a great job. Then, at the end, one of the execs, Arnaud Marie, started asking more questions. He asked to see their benefits slide again. “On a scale of one to five, where one means disagree and five means absolutely strongly agree, and something in between is something in between, hold up your fingers to show how much you believe these benefits will really happen.” The participants held their hands up, and looked around the room to see what the others had done. Everyone…everyone had held up five fingers.
Then Arnaud said, “There’s no wrong answer to this. You can say whatever you want and it’s totally OK.” He made eye contact to make sure people saw that he was serious. “Again, hold up your hands to show how committed you are to this program…1 is ‘no thanks,’ and 5 is ‘200%—when I get back to my office, and I’m busy with all my other work, I’m going to fight hard for this program, even when there are problems and setbacks.’” Hands went up, and again people looked around the room. It was all fives.
“OK, let’s make it official.” Arnaud went to our flip chart, and wrote a short phrase. “I want everyone here to sign it, and I’m going to keep it in my office. I’m going to sign it first.”
It was an electrifying moment. Having taken three minutes, zero dollars, a few carefully chosen words, and an action, a leader transformed the people in room from an enthusiastic group to a committed KCS army.
What have you done to inspire your colleagues to action? What can you do?
(HT to Arnaud for permission to share.)