“Often, the greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”
– Peter Drucker
The ability to adapt to change is key to surviving and thriving. It’s a time-tested law of nature, the cosmos and business – yet people and, by proxy, cultures are often resistant to change (and often to maddening effect!).
While this can be for a number of reasons (that can be as complex as the established cultures), the end result is the same – disaster (too dramatic? Just ask Kodak, Blockbuster,…).
Some thoughts on what we can do to bring about change for the better:
- Understand the Culture
- Implementing lasting change is about getting people to want to use the new way
- This will be nearly impossible if you don’t have a true appreciation for the reasons why the current culture exists. It’s easy, for example, to tell ourselves that people resist change because they do not want to do more work, but perhaps that comes from a deeper feeling of mistrust and being overworked by management?
- Use this knowledge (nay, insight) to achieve the next step
- Win hearts and minds
- Minds – bring cold hard facts, numbers, proof/evidence to support your case. Make it logically undisputable that what is being proposed is the right thing to do
- Hearts – however, it’s not enough to make a good logical argument, you will often need to inspire people to want to adopt the change. Be compelling, irresistible, undeniable!
- Make it easier to adopt
- Will the benefit be worth the change? Not just for the company, but also for the individuals?
- If not, take time to think about what can be done to make the processes smoother
- Involve would-be adopters in the development and implementation process
- Where appropriate, stagger the change – small changes over time are less of a culture shock (pun intended)
This is by no means an exhaustive list.
Just some ProEx Practicals