I just saw An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary featuring Al Gore and his global warming crusade. I recommend the film – regardless of your feelings about Al Gore, the message is impactful and important.
Al Gore's campaign against global warming demonstrates some key Change Management tactics:
- Communicate Al Gore estimates he has given his climate
change presentation 1000+ times. He speaks across the United States
and around the world. He constantly refines his message – adding
information as studies are released, tweaking his phrasing and story to
increase his impact.
- Emotional Appeal Gore is obviously well informed and
passionate about this topic — and is therefore a very compelling a
speaker. He connects emotionally with the audience and it's this
connection that opens the door for change. His message is laden with
details that touch on universal human experience and link climate
change to each audience member's day to day life (and the lives of their
children and grandchildren).
- Quantify the Benefits (Or, in this case, the dangers of
inaction.) Behavioral change is driven by a complex blend of emotional
and rational motivations. Emotions capture our attention, but data
drives decisions. Gore's presentation is impactful because it conveys
complex scientific concepts in a way that laypersons can easily
comprehend. Viewers leave the film convinced that Global Warming is real
- Acknowledge the Naysayers Successful change agents anticipate and acknowledge the objections raised by their opponents. In the film, Al Gore refutes the claims of climate change opponents, offering research and statistics that support his case.
- A Call to Action The movie credits are interspersed with
specific actions that viewers can take in order to combat climate
change. Viewers are encouraged to contact their congressional
representative, use public transportation, and reduce energy usage at
home and at work. The movie website suggests 10 Simple things to do to stop global warming (follow the link to download the one page PDF).
- Persistence & Patience Change does not happen overnight. Major change initiatives are made up of small, incremental steps. Al Gore has been pursuing this crusade for over thirty years.
More information on the movie:
- Official movie website
- Movie review round up (via Rotten Tomatoes)
- Article: Gore's Global Warming Film Gets Rave Reviews From Climate Scientists
Plus, here is a great article from Fast Company on why it is so hard to change people's behavior.
Change or Die
By Alan Duetschman