Many of us strive to make positive change in the workplace but simply don’t have the authority to do so. Today’s guest, Chris White, gives some fantastic tips on how to get our ideas adopted.

Chris White leads the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan. The Center helps leaders build high-performing organizations that bring out the best in people through ground-breaking research, educational programs, and organizational partnerships.

At the Ross School of Business, White co-developed and teaches the MBA class on Social Intrapreneurship: creating positive change without authority. White is co-author of a book on the topic through Harvard Business Review Press, entitled Changing Your Company From the Inside Out.

In this interview, we discuss two main topics – how to lead positive change without authority and the energy we bring to work. Chris shares his framework on successful change and of course, tangible tips.

Also, don’t miss out on an opportunity to participate in a small group training starting in October. Here’s a bit more about it:

  • This will be a small group of up to 6 people and only 2 spots remain.
  • We’ll meet weekly for 6 weeks online via Zoom October 24 to Dec. 5 (skipping Thanksgiving week).
  • Each week, I’ll present 15 minutes or so of content and then we’ll talk about how (and if) it would work in your organization.
  • Although I have topics in mind (other things that impact health, understanding your company, new metrics, key questions to ask, framework, etc.) I also want group members to tell me where they need help.
  • This will be informal and I’ll want a lot of group participation. I want it to feel like a supportive “tribe”.
  • If you’re looking for support in planning a more holistic approach in 2019, then this training is for you.

For those that sign up for my February training (more weeks and more formalized), this small group training is free. If you just want to do the standalone small group training, then it’s $350.

The deadline to get in on the small group training is October 17th.

For full details on the 2019 training, visit https://redesigningwellness.com/impactandinfluence/

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
  • Being a successful change agent in organizations (when you don’t have authority) is similar to successful change agents within society (social activists).
  • When it comes to making change, timing is key. Paying attention to business cycles and the conditions around you (leaders are leaving or coming in) are important.
  • Relational energy is the extent to which people leave interactions with you more or less positively energized. Research found that strong positive energizers are considered influencers.
  • As organizations scale, they are set up to avoid any variance. They are set up to do the same thing repeatedly. When they see things that look different than how things have always been done, they fight back (even if it’s unconscious).
  • The motivation, attention, engagement and performance of team members increase when there is a positively energizing relationship with their manager.
  • Keep the principle, change the language. A minor tweak in language can increase adoption of your idea.
Check out these highlights (with timestamps):
  • The four pieces that need to be in place to successfully make change [7:50]
  • SINE: stories, imagery, numbers and exemplars (who else is doing it) [12:24]
  • Building relationships with those who have authority [16:45]
  • Using small commitments to get your idea adopted [20:15]
  • The impact of poor social relationships on probability of early mortality [23:50]
  • What a manager can do to bring positive energy to their employees [28:00]
  • Tangible tip to be a change agent [31:41]
  • Bonus tip [35:50]
Mentioned in this episode:

The Center for Positive Organizations

Twitter:

@positiveorg

@leadpositively

Positive Links Speaker Series

Gretchen Spreitzer interview

Julia Lee interview

Pressman study

Full Bio:

Chris White leads the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan. The Center helps leaders build high-performing organizations that bring out the best in people through ground-breaking research, educational programs, and organizational partnerships.

At the Ross School of Business, White co-developed and teaches the MBA class on Social Intrapreneurship: creating positive change without authority. He also teaches in the Executive Education program on building positive organizations, and selling internally. White is co-author of a book on the topic through Harvard Business Review Press, entitled Changing Your Company From the Inside Out.

White has been leading and consulting to purpose-driven organizations for 15 years. His career has spanned the non-profit, corporate, and philanthropic sectors. White has received the Ideas Worth Teaching Award for excellence in business education from The Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program. His work has been featured by outlets including Fast Company, Inc., Forbes, CBS, The Huffington Post, and Talent Management Magazine. White serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of The Neutral Zone, a diverse, youth-driven teen center dedicated to promoting personal growth through artistic expression, community leadership, and the exchange of ideas.