By Andrea Knight
So many people trying to change the world for the better. How many are successful? How much effort is put into parades, poster boards and blogs with varying progress?
I’ve had success in my life, and I’ll tell you how to do it effectively. I’m not going to talk about metaphysical visualizing or asking for divine help this time, its more grounded than that, but still effective.
I used to work for a global fortune 500 company that made billions of dollars per year. Their products created a lot of trash around the world. The company wanted to change, but knowing they were a for-profit company, they needed to make money as well.
Ultimately, what was most effective was understanding their perspective and working with them to reach a set of goals. By set of goals I mean we wanted to create less waste to reduce landfill pollution but they didn’t want to increase expenses.
Since I had a background in both science and a Masters in business I understood that the accounting department in a company is often looking to reduce costs, as sales departments are looking to increase income. They respond greatly to data and anything measurable that can be plotted visually, often times on a graph.
The issue to resolve at this company was to reduce waste that would reach a landfill. We first measured how much waste was generated by the company. We reported these results in a format the company was comfortable with, namely a Powerpoint presentation with data tables, charts and bullet points. Then we mutually implemented a plan with the right individuals in the company who had the position in the hierarchy to speak to management. Management would listen to the results and then know who could publicize the results to internal company news sources.
We created a rewards program to positively reinforce behavior that aligned with the new initiative. Quite frankly we made it simple, individuals who followed the plan voluntarily received stickers on a chart posted to their desk to both inspire pride in themselves (moral intrinsic motivator, “make them feel good”) and to show those around them which created a competitive atmosphere of achievement. Essentially everyone wanted their charts filled up with stickers first. Cheap but effective.
We collected for management data and metrics on the falling waste levels and employee engagement. Every manager likes data put in graphic form such as charts and tables. The bonus to the program was reduced expenses for management, not increased cost, as less was being used by the company therefore less materials were bought in the long run. A win win for both sides, with less waste to the landfills and less cost to the company. In addition, the company received media attention and a globally recognized environmental reward for their efforts. Positive PR is a great motivator for any company.
The point I want to get across is to work with those you want to see change from, rather than against. Much of the conflict today is a matter of perspective. Understanding their point of view is so important here. Most people, political candidates, or organizations are not evil. Many people have simplified it that way in their minds to see in black and white, but many situations are more complex, grey areas.
Many of my clients are empaths or clairsentient. Use it to your advantage here by empathizing but also use logic by doing some research as those at the top are educated and more likely to be won over by an intellectual solution.
Zoos, aquariums and Sea World educate others through their parks and media about preservation and conservation. Most of the workers care about the environment and the animal life. They are bound by rules through regulatory organizations such as AZA. I suggest that if you want to see change here, to work with these organizations rather than against. Protests such as throwing razors in the animals’ tanks will not incite change, but rather anger. To convince educated scientists and corporations that can make the changes you want to see use research, data and an intellectual solution. Using extreme theatrical methods may put you at odds with those you wish to listen to your cause and being more direct with those in a position to make change is more effective.
Whether you are talking about parks which employ a lot of scientists or corporate companies, the people at the top that can create the change you seek are often highly educated. Instead of creating a lot of noise and upsetting people, cross the line to their side. Why are they doing it that way and what regulatory bodies do they actually listen to today? I’ll tell you when I worked at an aquarium many years ago, and they scrambled to meet the requirements set by AZA when they did their inspection.
You want to see change in how animals are treated? Go through the regulatory bodies that they listen to. Speak to those with high positions in an educated, data oriented, collaborative tone. Seek to listen first before responding to build a bridge of trust. Show that you listened by repeating some of what they have said back to them. Understand their process and motivations to see how you can accomplish a goal both of you will approve. You’ll find your road to change to be a smoother one with less frustration.
The people in political office, environmental parks and corporations that can make the changes you seek are often not bad but there are complications here such as costs and other factors that motivate their processes. There are solutions, though we can get caught up with how it was done before and don’t always look for innovations. Innovations are there, but I propose that instead of releasing a lot of anger at those you wish to change, to take the time you’d put into a poster board & markers and do some research on their process, what motivates them, and how to mutually reach goals.
There is more than one reason why we instantly want to attack who we don’t agree with and want to change. One of the reasons that has come to mind is the martyrs before us who inspired change with their often violent death such as Jesus, Saint Paul, and many other apostles and saints. Many think to make a lasting impression of change it needs to be violent, public and news worthy because that is what we hear about. However, there are those of us who did take part in real positive change today without death or negative publicity.
My intention is not to insult those that inspired change before us through less fortunate means but to let others know today that it doesn’t have to be that extreme. You can change the world for the better in ways that doesn’t always receive a lot of negative attention or publicity. You don’t have to hate or attack those you wish to change. The solution is to step back, think from their perspective clearly and act from the high road (or an intellectual one). Often times after doing research and coming in with a calmer perspective on what currently exists we can get through to those that can help change what we seek. Then you can proceed to make the changes in more efficient manner without as many obstacles in your path. change the world, change the world, change the world
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