We often receive questions from Emergenetics® Associates who are curious about how they can better integrate Emergenetics into existing Learning & Development programs or common frameworks. Over the past several months, change management has logically arisen as one of the most popular areas of focus.
As you can imagine, there are many methodologies to choose from when it comes to change models, each with their own benefits. You have an opportunity to make the frameworks even more actionable by connecting them to the ways employees prefer to think and behave.
To integrate Emergenetics and the methodology of your choosing, I invite you to follow six steps:
1. Determine your objectives.
Depending on your goals, it may or may not make sense to connect two concepts. Identify:
- What you are trying to accomplish
- With which audience
- In what timeframe
By articulating your objectives, you can better assess whether integrating the models makes sense.
2. Clarify definitions.
If you feel reasonably confident that connecting Emergenetics and your chosen framework can support your objectives, revisit both tools to review their purposes, definitions and processes. Before you can bridge the concepts, it’s essential that you have a strong understanding of the model and Emergenetics principles.
3. Identify connections.
Consider your framework’s core components and identify alignment with Emergenetics. It may be that a particular element ties to one Attribute or that a concept can be further explained by using the lens of each preference. Document the connections that come to mind, and you may also wish to engage a WEteam (Whole Emergenetics team) to identify further alignment.
4. Recognize gaps.
There may be some aspects of your model that do not perfectly connect to Emergenetics (or vice versa) and that is OK! After all, we don’t pretend that Emergenetics describes every element of who you are, nor can a change model address every consideration of each transformation you experience. Make note of the differences and again, I highly recommend working with a WEteam to help you.
5. Understand synergy.
With an outline of the alignment and gaps, reassess whether integrating the concepts will support your objectives. Some contributing factors in this assessment could include:
- Identifying whether the connections are logical and easy-to-follow
- Understanding if uniting the frameworks enhances their usability and applicability
- Recognizing whether the models amplify or detract from their individual impact
If the synergy is not strong enough, it’s better to stop here. If you do see possibilities, proceed to step 6.
6. Shape your presentation.
Now you can begin to integrate the concepts for your training. As you design your program, provide clarity into the definitions of both models. I also recommend re-engaging a WEteam to help ensure that the connections between the two frameworks are clear, relevant and actionable.
Connecting Emergenetics to Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change
To put this process into action, let’s explore an example together, starting by identifying objectives.
A common scenario involves a Learning & Development team that is tasked with leading a workshop to help managers effectively implement change. In this example, Kotter’s is the chosen change management framework and each of the leaders have an Emergenetics Profile, so I can see the potential in using Thinking and Behavioral preferences to promote buy-in and affect transformation.
Now, clarify definitions.
Even if you have delivered 100+ Meeting of the Minds, I invite you to revisit your Certification materials to refresh yourself on the Emergenetics Attributes and core principles. Then, explore Kotter’s model.
Taking a 10,000-foot view, Kotter’s eight steps are provided below. You can find greater detail here:
- Create a sense of urgency – Demonstrate the need for change and immediate action.
- Build a guiding coalition – Assemble an effective team to coordinate and communicate the transformation.
- Form a strategic vision and initiatives – Describe the future state and how it can be realized.
- Enlist a volunteer army – Drive buy-in by engaging a large group of staff members.
- Enable action by removing barriers – Empower adaptations by identifying and eliminating obstacles.
- Generate short-term wins – Celebrate progress to build energy around the alteration.
- Sustain acceleration – Move faster after your initial successes.
- Institute change – Connect the new behaviors to organizational success.
Next, identify connections.
On your own or with a WEteam, seek alignment between your frameworks. I’ve included some possible connections below:
- Create a sense of urgency – To help managers succeed in this step, you may encourage them to explain why the transition matters through the lens of each Emergenetics Thinking Attribute so staff recognize the importance.
- Build a guiding coalition – You can introduce the concept of a WEteam to enhance decision making and increase the likelihood of success for the initiative.
- Form a strategic vision and initiatives – You may point out how the vision is essential to gain buy-in from those with a Conceptual preference and that the Structural Attribute will want to know how you will realistically achieve it.
- Enlist a volunteer army – Managers may wish to appeal to the Social Attribute as well as first-third Assertiveness can create this team and foster engagement.
- Enable action by removing barriers – Leaders can utilize Analytical thinking, which loves efficiency, and the Structural Attribute, which enjoys bringing order to chaos, to streamline processes.
- Generate short-term wins – To identify meaningful wins, explain how to communicate effectively through the lens of Expressiveness and identify successes that speak to each Attribute.
- Sustain acceleration – Harness energy from third-third Assertiveness in this phase.
- Institute change – You can encourage leaders to consider the Flexibility spectrum to reinforce why the adaptations are important, how to stay the course and where further transition may be needed.
Now, recognize gaps.
One consideration to be aware of is how the pace of Kotter’s model may impact those in the first-third of Assertiveness, who prefer a steady approach. To ensure team members with that preference do not burn out in the process, find ways to weave awareness of first-third Assertiveness into your presentation.
From the assessment above, there is relevant, logical alignment between the models and many ways that leaders can utilize Thinking and Behavioral insights to activate Kotter’s steps. By giving leaders tools to transform work and doing so in a way that resonates with the preferred Attributes of their team members, you can enhance the likelihood of success for your company’s initiatives.
Begin shaping the presentation.
Make sure that attendees have a foundational understanding of the two concepts. You may offer a refresher on the Attributes as well as an overview of Kotter’s framework.
As you build your presentation, supplement each step of the change model with slides, resources or activities that help leaders recognize applications of the Emergenetics Attributes in each consideration. Don’t forget to include both areas of alignment and gaps that staff should consider.
There are many possibilities when it comes to utilizing Thinking and Behavioral insights to support the application of your Learning & Development frameworks. While this exercise took a 10,000-foot view of how to begin integrating Emergenetics and other methodologies, these tips can help to frame your thinking around the work you are doing and find opportunities to optimize the effectiveness of your programs.
If you’d like to learn more about how Emergenetics can support your Learning & Development initiatives, explore our Certifications or fill out the form below to speak with one of our team members today!
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