As we’ll see, these three elements of behavior change (B = MAT) are easy to understand, yet the critical factor is this: All three must be present at the same time.
- Motivation: It’s hard to help anyone develop new skills if they don’t want to. Ideally, the motivation to improve is intrinsic. That is, employees are self-motivated. If not, you’d better have some extrinsic motivation (think carrots, sticks, and withheld paychecks) at the ready.
- Ability: Mentally and physically, we have limited reserves of focus and willpower. To develop new habits, the less time and brainpower used, the better. After your sales reps answer 15 phone calls, make four site visits, and read your email about not updating their salesforce.com dashboard, willpower is low. Trying to remember passwords to access online training late in the day just isn’t going to happen.
- Trigger: Sales and marketing professionals know the call to action is critical. In the absence of a clearly defined next step, even interested prospects do nothing. What is the signal, spark or reminder to engage with the training?
Many LBM professionals think a Learning Management System (LMS) in “The Cloud” is the answer. While statements like, “We’ve invested in a proprietary LMS platform located in the cloud.” Sounds impressive, there is often no Trigger.
Again, what is the Trigger? What reminds your team to engage with the training? Jockeys use a whip. Pavlov used a bell. You’re using The Cloud? No, you’re not. The Cloud is not some mythical palace of learning; it’s a pile of interconnected servers you don’t own. That’s it. If you want your team to engage with the training content, you must think through the Trigger that spurs them into action.
This is the Equation for Behavior Change
B = MAT Behavior change = Motivation + Ability + Trigger. It bears repeating—all three must be present at the same time. If all three elements fail to converge at the same time, behavior won’t change.
How can you use this behavioral change equation for your benefit? By combining your soon-to-be-growing digital library with the The C.O.S.T. Training Model™.
Your Digital Library
When you think of the collective expertise, insight and solutions your team has, what percentage of it do you actually own? For example, if the founder of your company has 90% of your sales training program in his head and the rest is documented in a three-ring binder, you own 10%. If he gets hit by a bus tomorrow, 90% of that intellectual property is gone. Or, if your top salesman is lured away by a competitor, he’s not only taking key accounts with him, he’s also taking the sales knowledge you did not gather while he was here for the last decade. Your digital library is the sum of your corporate IQ. Once you have it, that knowledge can be used for training and marketing purposes, among other things.