A Best Friend’s Advice On Implementing Change

4 10 2012



Based on Interviews with Butterscotch and Fudge!

You don’t have to read John Kotter’s, “Our Iceberg Is Melting”, to learn the greatest lessons of I Cubed management (Inspiration.Innovation.Implementation) when it comes to change.  Nor do you have to go to the “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan to interpret the questions posed to my two Labradors, 9 ½ year old Butterscotch and 6 ½ year old Fudge.  In recent interviews with them, they were asked about their training and how it became the foundation for developing a successful I Cubed environment.  In simple ruff ruff language hear how to set the stage for this powerful technique!

On Trust

Q:            How important is trust?

B:            When you hold up that carrot for me to grab, how do you know I won’t bite off your hand?  You came to know I would never do that!  In the same way, I have to trust you, too.  It is the most important element of our relationship.  Without it, I would never know what to expect.  At the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing and it didn’t feel great all the time.  I learned to believe that even though I was doing all these seemingly new and crazy things, it was going to be ok.  Having trust allowed me to take that “leap of faith” needed to embrace a human.  David proved himself and I experienced trust, knowing he would take care of me and work tirelessly for me.

On Communication

Q:            What was the best way to communicate with you during the process?

F:            Communication always had to be simple, honest and positive.  Sit! Who’s hungry? Go to your pillow! Go outside!  Come in! … all worked for me.  I could not understand too many directives at once.  We needed to develop “our language”.  It was ok if no one else understood it, as long as we were on the same page.  When David whistled I knew to drop everything and run to him.  Don’t worry.  I too communicated with David.  To this day, he knows exactly what I am thinking and what I need.  The wagging tail, tilt of the head and warm licks give him a clue.  It is a great relationship with open communication.  

On Buy-In and Reward

Q:            Was it difficult to get you to buy-in to the changes happening around you?

B:            At the end of the day, I really wanted to please David.  Once I felt trust and understood clearly what I needed to do, it was easy for me to have tons of buy-in.  Of course, it was great to know that there was a reward.  Even though I am drooling just thinking about it, rewards didn’t have to be a treat.  I loved the positive words of encouragement and praise from David.  I love the love!  All of that helped me continue to believe in the program.  And, I share the love, giving it back to the entire family.  They all know exactly how I feel.  It also gets them to have buy-in to give me the attention I need.

On Speed of Change

Q:            How quickly were you able to adapt to the change?

B:            Learning takes time and everyone has a very different learning curve.  It took me six weeks to learn everything.   It took my brother twice as long to get up to speed.  David always was encouraging, persistent and patient.  He stuck with his plan and hung in there until we got all of the details perfect.  He knew that we were making consistent progress and were trying as hard as we could to make the changes work.

On Consistency

Q:            When you were confronted with change, how consistent was David in the process?

F:            Consistency was a crucial element in the change process.  And let me tell you, to this day, we still do things the same way.  I know when I get up in the morning, what I eat, when to eat and where to eat it.  I know when I go outside, when the family comes home, where to go to the bathroom, what to do at night and when to go to bed.   It was important for me to get used to each new expectation before new ones were introduced.   Each step of the way the elements had to be reinforced in the same way.   He wanted to make sure that I didn’t have to “unlearn” what I was originally taught.

There are many lessons all around us to create an I Cube friendly environment for change.   The same principles endorsed by Butterscotch and Fudge can be applied to I Cubing your organization.   Without good training, a dog can rule the home.  Without setting the stage this process will fail.  For our companies, far too often, these steps are ignored and make establishing an exciting, cooperative I Cubed environment impossible.  The above suggestions represent several of the key elements required to bring about change successfully.  To stay focused in the I Cubed mode, follow I Cubed blog posts regularly.



If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you.