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Create solutions with them not for them

2 minutes read

One lesson I've learned throughout the last 10 years of my career is never to force change in others. My process was like this:

  1. I know what the team needs
  2. I inform the team of the plan
  3. I see change happen

Except change never happened like this. I could say I wanted others to change. And it might even be for the best of reasons. But this was a poor man's attempt at wanting to control others. The truth is, I have no idea what is best for others.

All I was doing was creating resistance in their minds.

The thing is, what I called truth was actually my opinion, no matter how stoically I could defend it.

This is even more so for accessibility.

As I join a team, I know where to dig to figure out where the weak points are and how to drill down change into the roots of the organisation. I can create change programs and plans to roll them out and implement them. I know what the desired behaviour is and what's needed to train everyone on the new processes and then evaluate them against the right KPIs.

I can usually walk into a room and know what questions to ask to get to the answers I need to make all this happen. But the truth is, change rarely happens because I will it so. I can't create change through imposing change. The only way to do it is by inviting everyone into the process and get them engaged.

The trick is finding the right questions to ask to engage everyone personally. The trick to getting buy-in is to create a sense of shared responsibility in the team.

The result is we're now creating the change together. We're not bolting accessibility on at the end. Or worse, we're not having others bolt it on according to a plan we created. That'll never happen.

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