Change is inevitable. Adaptation to change is a necessary and critical component to survival. But mostly, change is a constant in business. And business seems to be where the adaptation to change -- or lack thereof -- seems to have some of the most significant impact.
Former US president John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”.
In business, we must continually change, evolution is not an option. If we stand still in our businesses we go backwards. The day that we think we have our business model perfected is not the day to stop changing. The issue comes about when we try to make changes. With the evidence in existence related to the necessity of change in business, you would think every business would constantly be revising their model. But that is not the case.
Before you can overcome the resistance it is wise to be aware of why the resistance exists. Usually it is a result of one of the following causes…
- People not agreeing with or understanding the value / benefits of the innovation.
- Fear of the unknown.
- People have had no opportunity to provide input in the planning or implementation of the change.
- Little or no reward / benefits to the people impacted by the idea.
- Increased effort from people required as a result of implementing the idea.
- Fear that the change will result in job cuts.
- Personality clashes between the people affected by the idea and the ideas inventor.
- No trust of the people who have been mandated to implement the change
- Belief that the change is unnecessary or will make the situation worse
- A belief that the idea is inferior to another idea.
- A feeling that the change will result in a loss of security, status, money or friends.
- Bad experiences from similar changes that had been or been attempted to be implemented in the past.
Being a leader today we must to be more adaptable to change than ever before. Technology alone will challenge us to learn new things and adapt almost on a daily basis! Change is absolutely unavoidable and successful people recognize this fact and learn how to play the “Change Game”.
Let go of the feelings you have associated with the “old way” of doing things. While some strategies are tried and true… change WILL find a way… and when it does, bringing emotional attachment into the fray can spell disaster. Comfort does not equal rationality.
Change is most often a difficult thing. The sooner we learn to embrace it and work within it, the easier it will be to begin the next challenge that comes along. We naturally gravitate toward the things that make us feel fulfilled, safe and happy. Therefore as we embrace change more often and see the good in it… the more we will gravitate toward it with enthusiasm!
If we accept change is inevitable, you will need a means to continually drive change throughout your business. You should have a change management process that involves every single employee in an organization. Change should be ongoing and employees should be a critical part of that process so there is not fear of change but a willingness to embrace it because it’s a part of the everyday process in the organization.
Change is necessary, resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.