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George Bradt
George Bradt
Offering a unique perspective on transformational leadership based on his combined senior line management, journalistic, and consulting experience. Founder of executive onboarding group PrimeGenesis, author of four books on onboarding and “The New Leader’s Playbook” weekly column on


Posted in Society / Leadership / Business

Altering Balance of Consequences: An Essential Part of Transition Management

Mar. 7, 2011 10:28 am
Categories: Leadership Skills

Changing behaviors is tough. Three helpful leadership skills include:

  1. Assessing the current context and culture
  2. Mapping the supporters, detractors, and watchers
  3. Moving everyone one step, starting by turning the supporters into champions

This is accomplished by altering the balance of consequences.

Michael Brown's ABCs of Behavior Change

Michael Brown's premise, which I follow, is that you modify someone's Behavior by changing the Antecedent and the Consequences. There are, logically, four approaches to altering the balance of consequences.

  • Increase the positive consequences of desired behavior
  • Increase the negative consequences of undesired behavior
  • Decrease the positive consequences of undesired behavior
  • Decrease the negative consequences of desired behavior

Example: Getting People to Show Up on Time for Meetings

You could

  • Start meetings on time, even if people are late - a positive consequence for showing up on time
  • Fine people for showing up late - a negative consequence of showing up late
  • Stop re-starting the meeting when latecomers do show up. This both decreases the positive consequence of showing up late by not making it easy for people that do and decreases the negative consequences of having to sit through the start-up over and over again for people that do show up on time.
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