Increasing your chances of implementation success

or how to get people doing what they say they will

successCreating detailed plans which force you visualise what you will be doing, when you will be doing it, who you will be doing it with; plus the addition of support processes such as public commitment that you will follow through and the knowledge that significant others are doing likewise will significantly increase the chance that you will follow through on those actions.

Research conducted in voting patterns in the USA show that the use of voting plans increased voter turnout by 9.1% compared to potential voters who had no voting plan but who were contacted via phone calls to encourage them to vote.

(Nickerson, D. W., & Rogers, T. (2010). Do You Have a Voting Plan?: Implementation Intentions, Voter Turnout, and Organic Plan Making. Psychological Science, 21(2), 194-199.)

Our experience in the field of organisational development supports these findings. With the aid of a publicly displayed “leadership matrix plans” we found that employees of a large R&D organisation rated their managers higher on leadership in their annual employee engagement survey than the previous year and compared to divisions where managers did not use “leadership matrix plans”.   These plans clearly articulated the actions (behaviours) that “leaders” would exhibit, when they would do it and where they would do it. The plans were publicly displayed so all employees knew what behaviours they should expect to see, and managers were assisted via training and coaching to support them.

The plans clearly identified what leadership was and thus helped to create a leadership identity that the managers were required to live up to. As well, since all the managers of the division were required to undertake these actions their behaviours were in turn reinforced and supported via the social comparisons they were able to make with their peers.