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A friend recently told me how much money his company had spent on a presenter for an all-company virtual meeting—to the tune of $100,000.
This friend was part of the planning committee tasked with collecting bios, presentation topics, and fees of various speakers. When asked what they got in exchange for their investment, he reiterated that they got a virtual presentation. I pressed him a bit more, to clarify what kind of resources and support they received to ensure the material in the presentation was implemented, but he explained that the company’s leadership didn’t want to spend additional time on such support—they just wanted to give their people something nice to feel good about.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t feel too good about spending $100,000 without a reasonable expectation of return.
But maybe that’s just me.
The Problem With Poorly Planned Meetings
Encouragement without empowerment is a waste of time; yet empowerment without engagement is impossible.
In other words, telling people “You can do it!” without also providing them with the knowledge skills, resources, support, and opportunities to “do it” is a recipe for false hope and wishful thinking—a so-called “good-lie” that offers a false sense of security and lulled complacency before inevitable disaster strikes.
At the same time, unless we understand what’s at stake, no amount of knowledge, skills, resources, support, and opportunities will suffice, because no one is listening because no one cares, and therefore nothing is retained and nothing can be transferred.
The Three Drivers of Change
Ultimately, no one makes changes in their life until three drivers move them: pain, knowledge, and support.
1. Pain. People will often go to greater lengths to avoid pain than to obtain pleasure, which is what makes pain perhaps one of the greatest motivators of all. In other words: No one will change until they hurt enough that they want to change.
2. Knowledge. Mere desire is never enough without the support of relevant knowledge and skills, making it a critical asset for those wishing to make positive changes. In other words: No one will change until they learn enough that they know how to change.
3. Support. What you know and what you can do is meaningless without the support of relevant resources and opportunities to transfer your knowledge and skills. In other words: No one will change until they receive enough that they are able to change.
As for my friend and the company he works for, they had plenty of pain and plenty of knowledge, but a woeful lack of support.
They had knowledge, because they had a $100,000 speaker deliver a slick presentation on boosting employee morale.
They had pain, because in the days following the presentation, entire teams and departments were eliminated, effectively making the content of the presentation irrelevant because the cornerstone of morale—trust—had been violated.
And they had a woeful lack of support, because without follow-up, no one was held accountable for applying and transferring what they learned beyond the meeting, making the investment meaningless.
Well, that is except for the people who were let go. They learned how to apply for new positions and transfer to new companies—perhaps companies that actually care about the people who make it all possible.
What’s moving you today? Pain, knowledge, or support?
Jonas Cain, M.Ed. is a storyteller, magician, musician, and facilitator of fascination. Through his company, Hashtag Positivity, he assists individuals, teams, and communities in “Being Well By Living Well” to experience abiding joy. Connect with Jonas today to discuss your challenges, goals, and obstacles: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonas Cain, M.Ed. is a storyteller, magician, musician, and facilitator of fascination on a mission to help you experience abiding joy.