Bright Spots: Using Success Stories to Drive Change

In a time of constant change, it’s not easy to create a culture of change in your own team. When you look to the future, don’t ignore change that’s happened in the past – especially success stories that demonstrate how change has worked for you and your team. These ‘bright spots’ can motivate, inform, and drive your team to create actionable ideas for the future and help to build a culture of change and innovation in your team.

How do you create real change for yourself, your team, your workplace and your organisation?

Last week, I faciliated a session for a group of senior leaders in the education sector. They had just completed their strategic plan for the next few years, and were now thinking about the future. They asked me to help them think broader and further – for example, with digital change, AI, and even a virtual campus for their organisation.

Some leaders approach this kind of session with good intentions, but are constrained by their experience and expertise. When considering the future, they tend to only think about ideas that fit in their model of the past.

But I was thrilled to see this group was different. They were completely open to embracing things that are totally different from what might have worked for them in the past.

That said, the things that truly caught their attention and sparked ideas from others in the room were stories from the past – success stories. For example:

  • One person talked about how they had done a lot of online training during COVID, and we should learn from those lessons.
  • Another spoke about an external course they were studying where they were being assessed by AI.
  • Another also spoke of a course they were studying online from the other side of the world, where they had to attend online lectures in the middle of the night – but also had access to all recordings if they couldn’t attend live.

These stories engaged the rest of the group because they were evidence of success. Even if some of that success was outside their organisation, it was still a positive example.

Learn from this when building a culture of change.

When you’re looking to the future, mine the past for success stories.

In their book, “Switch”, which is all about making change happen, Chip and Dan Heath calls these “bright spots” – examples of the change you want already working in practice. Use them to motivate your team to make that same change happen.

Download my worksheet, “Find The Bright Spots”, which shows you how to put this idea into practice.



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