Launching into a new decade, it seems an appropriate time to think about the positive changes we would like to commit in the year 2020.
Change is never easy so I also find it interesting to take stock, look at what’s changed over the past year, and why.
One really big change for my family over recent months has been attempting to become plastic-free. It’s incredibly difficult and we haven’t been entirely successful.
However, by going to local shops more, and choosing supermarkets that make some effort to minimise packaging, we’ve reduced the amount of plastic in the recycling box by roughly two thirds.
The inspiration for our changes in day to day habits was David Attenborough’s very effective episode of Blue Planet II. Which shows explicitly the impact plastic rubbish is having on the oceanic environment. I contrast this brilliantly clear, powerfully communicated message against what I have observed in the media about Extinction Rebellion. Which seems to be pushing a much more complicated agenda. The message seems to be that in order to prevent catastrophe, we should change multiple individual and social behaviours, and the economic structures that support them.
I suspect that the reason the Blue Planet episode was so effective in initiating change is that it focused the audience very clearly on one behaviour; avoiding single use plastics. This seems like a very reasonable request, and I know many people have been pleased to work a little harder to avoid plastics wherever possible.
The choices of individuals are now driving seismic social change, with supermarkets and coffee shops beginning to take notice.
Extinction Rebellion, whilst admirably bringing climate change to the top of the media agenda, lacks this clarity. If the message is that we need to change lots of different things (perhaps most things), the challenge can seem overwhelming, Many in the audience will disengage, even if the aims of the movement are commendable.
The leadership point, for me, is to focus on one behaviour when attempting to instigate organisational change. If the one behaviour is carefully chosen, and the message well communicated, the overall effect can be far greater than attempting to inspire multiple changes all at the same time.
Train with a name you can trust
Let us help you realise your potential through quality training and coaching courses.
Find a course to suit you
Are you ready to transform your learning?
Develop your skills and enhance your knowledge with our range of professional courses.
- Is a CMI qualification worth it? Seven reasons why the answer is ‘Yes’
- Change management courses: how to prepare for the demands of the year ahead
- Tomorrow’s world – and how evolving leadership will take us there
- Seven major benefits of an Agile project management course
- Five practical takeaways to expect from an Advanced Management Programme Accelerator
Associate tutor of In Professional Development