ADKAR step five: reinforcement to sustain the change
This is the last of a five-part article series.
We’ve reached the point in the ADKAR model where — hopefully — gears are starting to move. Society is feeling motivated, educated, and able at all levels to make a change.
Now, how do we keep that momentum going?
We start insisting on accountability among those with the most power: big business and Government. We get equally powerful influencers on board to increase the volume and the pressure.
We do not stop, because stopping is not an option.
Business growth MUST factor in climate
2044 is the average year by which FTSE100 companies pledge to be Net Zero. 82% of the 100 aim to meet the Government’s target of 2050. That’s according to a recent study by a leading private wealth law firm (reported here by IFA magazine).
YES, great that they’ve committed to a target.
AND, I imagine, if their employees gave a deadline for a project 22 years from now, they might ask why it’ll take that long and what we could do in the meantime. They might ask to see the project milestones. They might question whether, if we doubled the budget or the number of hands on deck, it could be delivered any sooner?
YES, wonderful, they’ve taken the first step.
AND, influencers, could you perhaps push them to deliver a smidge quicker than the target, given that our house is already burning down?
Pressure from those with influence could help shift targets for change forward from the distant horizon into an immediate future that would make a life-changing difference.
Call out “greenwashing”
Greenwashing refers to marketing and PR tactics specifically used to make an organisation or business appear more ecologically sustainable than it is. ASOS, Boohoo and ASDA are currently being investigated by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for this, and H&M was recently investigated by Quartz and found to be outright lying to their customers, but they are far from the only ones.
When it comes to calling out greenwashing, Deborah Meaden could be the poster woman. On Twitter she’s fearless. She’s articulate, and she’s got the power. Putting her money where her mouth is, Deborah invests in a number of businesses with sustainability at their core. She also co-hosts The Big Green Money Show on BBC Radio 5 Live where she interviews business leaders and the sustainability executives within some of the largest brand names, confronting them on whether they’re doing enough to lead change in their industry.
One poster woman, though, is not what we need. Individuals are fallible, and the higher the pedestal we put them on the more time we spend looking up and not around us. We could, however, use an Avengers-esque task force, spread across the various industries that come up time and again as the “dirtiest” culprits.
Raise funds and awareness for those holding the Government accountable
The previous articles in this series have explored what we can do in parallel to changing the existing power structures, which move at the speed a glacier is supposed to. The faster those glaciers melt, though, the more critical it becomes to put pressure on those in power to deliver rapid changes.
The Good Law Project is, in their own words:
a not-for-profit campaign organisation that uses the law to protect the interests of the public. We fight cases that defend, define or change the law and we use litigation to engage and educate. We challenge abuses of power, exploitation, inequality, and injustice.
They’re currently fighting two legal cases which may help avert the climate disaster:
The not-for-profit operates on a crowdfunded model which — you guessed it — needs a large volume of support to succeed. Can this crowdfunding model work?
So, yes, with enough support, it can.
If we could find enough influencers to raise the profile of the Good Law Project or, better yet, help fund their projects, how many of our policies could be modernised for a healthier, more sustainable future?
I know we’re in a recession and crowdfunding projects like this might not be feasible for some. But there is still a large amount of disposable income in certain areas of society, and influencers in those sectors could still make an enormous impact.
YES: the ideal goal would be to see the Good Law Project successfully work itself into obsolescence.
AND the reality is that we’ll likely need them holding those in power accountable for a while yet. So, influencers, do what you do best and influence your audience. Show them how they can make real change together, and make it stick.
It’s time to end the #ClimateCommsCrisis.
It’s time to #InfluenceClimateChange.
It’s time to act.
When it comes to the climate crisis, we have a collective responsibility to change. Whether we act on an individual, community, or national level, the process is the same: build awareness; generate desire; share knowledge; ensure there is the ability to change at all levels, and reinforce the change by holding those responsible actually responsible.
Influencers can help build and sustain momentum as we move through the change process, and the more diverse the influencers’ backgrounds, industries and interests, the broader an audience we can collectively reach.
There’s no one single answer to the climate change crisis, but there’s one thing I know for sure: the more we learn to communicate and focus on what CAN be done, the better chance we stand of making an impact.