How do habits change ? There is, unfortunately, no specific set of steps guaranteed to work for every person. We know that a habit cannot be eradicated – it must, instead, be replaced. And we know that habits are most malleable when the Golden Rule of habit change is applied: if we keep the same cue and the same reward, a new routine can be inserted. But that’s not enough.
In many organizations you can make good progress in your early career by using positional power and traditional authority to get things done. Junior managers often have clear areas of responsibility and accountability and within that area, they are indeed a “big dog” and can use that power to get things done quite effectively. However, once we are promoted to executive level in our organization, or when we start working in a more ambiguous matrix role, we need to build alliances and influence people we do not have formal authority over.
Imagine that the world is behaving in a way and you know that by changing or adopting a small behavior in the world population, there will big a huge benefit for everybody. How would your start changing the behaviors of the world population ? OK … let’s start small first … how would you start adopting healthier behaviors for yourself ?
Research suggests that organizations consciously balance span of control(the resources over which an individual has direct control) and span of accountability(the results and performance outcomes for which they are held responsible) to achieve different outcomes.
If we think about the balance between span of accountability and span of control, there are only three options, and each of them drives a very different set of behaviors.
“How can I be accountable for something I don’t control?” “How can I get things done without authority?”
Welcome to the matrix, where multiple bosses, competing goals, influence without authority, and accountability without control are the norm. It is a world where skills, not structure, are the drivers of business and personal success.
A kindergarten teacher that has worked with kids for the last 20 years of her life and today she works in a corporate office. Observing her in the corporate office, people identified that when she hears the sound of somebody exiting the bathroom she is naturally asking out loud the following question “Have you washed your hands?”
Is the sound of somebody exiting the bathroom a trigger that is causing her to ask the question about washing hands? Is her asking this question an automatism that she has built in the last 20 years working as a kindergarten teacher?