You’ve heard this message several times throughout this section, but it’s true: Change is the only constant in business. It’s the fuel for growth and innovation. It’s the key to gaining a competitive edge. Most organizations know that change is critical to their business’s success, and yet, they struggle to embrace the concept — typically due to employee resistance.
There is no surprise here. Change is scary! There are numerous reasons why employees feel resistant toward change: fear of losing their job, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, lack of competence, lack of information, low trust in the proposed changes, and so on. It’s understandable. One reason, however, that we observe way too often is stubbornness masked by excuses:
- “We don’t have time to change.”
- “We’re too busy to learn something new.”
- “We like the old way of doing things better.”
- “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
It baffles us how many organizations we’ve seen stuck in their status quo because they’re too busy, or so they claim to be. And it’s not just the employees who claim to be too busy. It’s the leadership too! The reality, however, is that if you’re too busy to improve, then you’re too busy to succeed.
If stubbornness is what’s holding you back from making changes in your organization, then you must nip it in the bud this instant! Next, consider these two tips to get you on track to successful change implementation.
- Develop a change plan
Provide an overview of the proposed change(s) and address the following questions:
- What change(s) are you proposing?
- Why are you proposing the change?
- What are the benefits of the change?
- Who is the change going to impact?
- Who is going to carry out the change?
- What are some of the potential risks?
- How is the change going to be implemented?
Present the change plan to your employees. Provide your employees with context and background about the nature of the proposed change and highlight how the change is going to benefit them directly. Employees will not resist change if they believe it’s in their best interest. (If the change you’re proposing is not in the employees’ best interest, then you have a whole other set of issues on your plate.) Use a combination of formal and informal communication and be prepared to address employees’ questions and concerns.
To lead and implement change effectively takes time and communication skills. We all know that change can be a tiresome endeavor; however, in order for your business to thrive, your organization must continuously evolve. Failing to do so puts your organization at risk for losing its competitive edge and customers. Let’s put it this way — change to keep in the step with the times, or remain the same and soon be left in the dust by your competition.