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I’ve written about change and change management many times over the years. Last year was also and especially a big year to talk and write about change and the challenges and disciplines required to execute change.

Well, guess what? This year (and, quite frankly, every year) is no different. Change or die, right? So it’s with that thought and perspective that I write this first post of 2021.

I was recently introduced to the Head, Heart, and Hands Change Model. On the surface, as we think about customer experience, these words make total sense. They align with Thinking, Feeling, and Doing (which I say are the key differentiators between actually creating a journey map and, well, not).

The origin of using these three words together is unknown, but this model has been used in a variety of fields, from psychology to education and learning, in order to activate change.

This model makes total sense as you think about – and embark on – how to change your company culture to be customer-centric. I’ve written about activating change with core values, but you could layer this Head, Hearts, and Hands Model on top of the core values – or how you socialize and operationalize them – to activate change at a deeper, more meaningful level.

Let’s start from the top, literally. The Head in this model is all about what people are thinking. It’s about knowledge, analytics, and intellectual skills. Heart is all about feelings – emotions, motives, perceptions. And Hands signify doing – behaviors, actions, hard work.

Consider how you’ll use these three together to persuade employees and to activate change. Here are a few more details and questions to answer to set you on the right path. It’s going to be important to really know and understand your audience in order for this to be effective.

So, Head is about the rational and analytical. Let’s call it the why. What’s the reason for changing your culture? What’s the sense of urgency or burning platform? How will you build the business case and get people on board with the change? Why is it necessary? What happens if we don’t change? How do we help people understand? These are just some of the questions you’ll need to address in order to activate change.

Heart is emotional. How will you use emotion to make your point? What story will we tell to convey the need for change? What excites people? How will you communicate? How will you inspire people to change? How will you get them committed to the change? How will you empower them along the way? How will it make people feel? How do you help them feel like they belong and are a part of the change and of the outcome? Address these questions to ensure you appeal to the audience’s emotional side.

Hands are behavioral. Let’s call them the how. How will you execute? Think about people, tools, systems, processes, policies, and success metrics. What’s the plan? How will you bring about the change? How will you involve employees? How will their jobs change? What training will they need? What technology do you need? Which processes and policies will need to change – and how? Will you create prototypes or mock-ups to give people an idea of what to expect? Going back to using core values to activate change, have you defined the acceptable and unacceptable behaviors associated with each value?

This model addresses the three key motivational drivers of an individual. If you incorporate Head, Heart, and Hands into your change management approach, you can’t go wrong.

The product of the head, heart, and hand is a thing to be loved. -Elbert Hubbard

Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. In 2019, she published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.