The CUE Change Framework is a people-centric approach to help move people from resistance to engagement
A quote often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt summarises the core of the CUE Behavioural Change Framework “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” We often don’t really care what you need either, until we know how much you care.
Too often we try persuade through intellectual argument alone. However, research from both Neuroscience and Behavioural Economics clearly demonstrates that our decisions are largely emotional, and not as logical as we like to believe. How we feel colours and influences how we act.
Think of a situation where you had “irrefutable data”, reason and logic on your side, and believed there was absolutely no way your perfectly constructed argument could fail to persuade. However, still the other the other person dug in their heels and refused to budge. Your data-rich logical pitch didn’t succeed in moving them or getting them on board. A combination of emotion and logic are the ideal, however it is essential to remember that we are not persuaded by logic alone. Additionally too many changes outside our control can quickly lead to Change Fatigue.
Change is often confusing, scary and messy. A people-centric approach can help improve performance and increase engagement.
In the theatre a CUE is a thing said or done that serves as a signal to an actor to begin their performance. Similarly the CUE Behavioural Change Framework is a stimulus to performance during change.
The CUE Behavioural Change Framework
We want people to buy-in (care) about the change, why it is happening and why it matters. Research indicates that buy-in is more likely to happen when we feel involved and valued. Unfortunately many participants in change programmes feel that the change is happening to them. Consultation, giving the employees a voice, and inviting them to participate in the change (with tangible support) is more powerful then dictating a change happen. Actions speak louder than words when it comes to changing behaviours and winning hearts and minds.
Understanding is not a one-way process. It requires sharing ideas, eliciting feedback (How has the idea landed? & What do you need to know?). In a change process it is important to go beyond sharing the need for the change but to also explore the impact and real cost (time, energy, customer impact) of the change. When we understand why a change is happening, how it will impact us and what we can do to contribute it is easier to plot the way forward.
Once a level of buy-in and understanding has been created identified desired behaviours can begin to be embedded. These new behaviours need to be appropriately recognised and rewarded. When we have new desired behaviours introduced while older (now) misaligned behaviours are still measured and rewarded change becomes more challenging. We give more weight to what is measured, acknowledged and rewarded.
At the heart of the CUE Change Framework is living the organisation’s core Values
When an organisation talks about core values such as teamwork and community but does not demonstrate these values change is harder. Change thrust on teams with little congruence to the “Core value” will quickly lead to the perception of the values being PR fluff, and cause them to become de-motivational. Congruent leadership behaviours in line with stated values and an engaging narrative (change story) is at the heart of a people-centric change programme.
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