Change management is a hot buzzword in business circles today. Everywhere you turn, experts espouse ways to deal with change in the workplace, in the world, and even in your home. CEOs and executives want to learn how to manage change; implore change; beg for change; and even get exact change. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can stop. You don’t need no stinking change. You can go on forever doing just what you’ve been doing all these years. It’s your life and your business. No change!
If you go that route, you need to know what you’re in for. In all decisions that we make, there are consequences. Let’s see what happens when we avoid making change in our organizations…
- You become stale and obsolete. You can only sell the same “stuff” to the same people for so long. Daily newspapers, phone book ad executives, and video stores all found it out too late. There’s always a bigger and better ship coming around the corner. You need vision and the ability to be nimble to stay relevant.
- Your people leave. Without change, people get bored. They don’t see growth or potential and will find greener grass. Maybe an even bigger problem is that they get complacent and just decline in efficiency and ability.
- You can’t recruit new talent. This goes along with good people leaving your business. You have a certain “street cred” (credibility for all you non-changers). Your reputation gets around and the perception of you as being dull or dynamic will either bring in young talent or repel it.
- You lose business. People want to work with cutting edge and vibrant organizations. If you are stale; can’t keep quality people; or run ineffective operations, then you’re yesterday’s news (which happens quicker today than ever before).
You don’t have to change in business. You also don’t have to brush your teeth, eat healthy, exercise, read books, or wear sunscreen. Those all have consequences, too.
If you do find yourself wanting to avoid those calamities I’ve listed, here’s a short and sweet guide to affecting change management in your organization.
- Do a pulse check on yourself as a leader. What do your key employees think about how well you run the organization and treat them? You have to start at the top if you plan on effectively leading change.
- Be very clear about your vision. Your employees, your customer base, and your entire supply chain need to know the destination. Change without vision is doomed to failure.
- Be patient. Change is a slow moving beast, especially as the organization gets larger. There is bound to be “gravitational pull” to default back to the good old days. Be patient, yet firm in the transition.
- Don’t quit. The worst thing that can happen is that when the going gets tough, you capitulate. This is terrible role modeling and the quickest way to slide back. In the end, the decline would be worse than had you not tried to change at all!
- Celebrate successes. I fear that one of the things we as humans are worst at is complimenting and rewarding good behavior. Recognize and applaud positive effort. Pretty soon, you will find others trying to do the same.
We live in a global, highly technological, and fluid business world. The economy and business practices are going to change whether you’re on board or not. You don’t have to change, but not being prepared and skilled in change management will lead to dire consequences at some point.
Those businesses that embrace change, and know how to effectively manage it within their organizations, will ultimately be successful regardless of where and how the world turns.
Hey can you spare some change, pal?
© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
Dan Weedin helps turn his clients business risk into rewards. He is able to take the abstract concepts of risk and crisis management to help business owners prepare and respond more effectively and with less time and cost to crisis. Since he doesn’t work for an insurance company or agency, he is able to act as an unbiased advocate for his clients. You can lear ore about Dan and how he can help your business on his web site at www.DanWeedin.com.