When faced with transformational changes, many people often ask the question, "what's in it for me?" This WIFM self-centered mindset is understandable, as we all want to know how a particular change will affect us personally. In fact WIFM is the cornerstone of most Organizational Change Management. This mentality is not sufficient, however, when it comes to embracing transformational changes.
To truly embrace transformational changes, people need a "burning platform." A burning platform refers to a crisis or urgent situation that compels people to act. It's a sense of urgency that makes people realize that if they don't change, the consequences will be dire.
For example, let's say a company is facing declining profits, and its market share is shrinking rapidly. In this situation, the CEO might realize that the company needs to undergo a major transformation to survive. However, simply telling employees that the transformation is necessary to save the company might not be enough to inspire them to change. Instead, the CEO needs to create a burning platform by highlighting the dire consequences of inaction. This might include job losses, bankruptcy, or a complete loss of market share.
When people have a burning platform, they are more likely to embrace transformational changes. This is because the fear of the consequences of inaction outweighs the fear of change. A burning platform creates a sense of urgency and focus that is essential for change to occur.
Moreover, a burning platform can help people see the bigger picture beyond their individual interests. When people are solely focused on "what's in it for me," they may not be able to see how their actions or lack of action can affect the larger organization or society as a whole. A burning platform can help people realize that their individual contributions are essential for the success of the transformation and that they need to work together to achieve it.
In conclusion, the question of "what's in it for me" is not sufficient when faced with transformational changes. People need a burning platform to inspire them to change and embrace the new reality. A burning platform creates a sense of urgency and focus that is essential for change to occur. Therefore, leaders must create a burning platform that highlights the dire consequences of inaction to inspire their teams to embrace change and work together towards a common goal