“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody”
Oh, that dreaded word “CHANGE” I have seen companies go out of business, rather than change. I have seen people suffer from all kinds of physical ailments, rather than change. I have seen whole marketing plans get turned down, because they involved doing something the company had never done before.
People, by natural instinct, hate change. They hate anything that takes them out of their comfort zone. They would rather stay in a deplorable situation, than make a change. It’s that proverbial frog in the water syndrome. Which isn’t at all true by the way. The fact is that even a frog will be smart enough to jump out of the water when it gets too hot!
The truly successful entrepreneurs in business, as in life are the ones who not only adapt to change, but embrace it. The ones who can look at a changing scenario and think, “how can I take advantage of these changing times?” Great fortunes have been made in times of great change by those who were flexible enough to change and adapt.
In our own times, look at the people who have made fortunes by taking advantage of the changing social media platforms, as opposed to those who sat back and called Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook passing fads.
It’s very simple: adapt to change and thrive…resist change and die.
Here from a neat little book titled: Change is Good…You Go First: 21 ways to inspire change By Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein are six ways that you can inspire change in your own organization:
- Change what needs changing-not what’s easy: Sometimes people will see easy things to change. The low hanging fruit. That’s a fine way to get started, but in the end the real change that has to be done can be painful. Don’t stop at the easy stuff and then say “good enough is good enough” once the process of change has begun stick to it, go with the momentum that the doing the easy changes provided you.
- Forget to succeed: Remember the fifty reasons why it won’t work? Forget everything you tried in the past. So many times, when change is introduced, members of your team will wrack their brains trying to find the few reasons why it might not work. What just might go wrong. For example, a company will send out a very effective newsletter to a thousand people and two of those people will take offense at something in the newsletter; and the company never sends out another one. And, the worst part is that for years to come whenever anyone brings up the idea of sending out newsletters, they remember that one time, twenty years before and refuse to do it again. Stupid…just plain stupid.
- You’ve got to believe: You have to get the entire team to believe that change is the right thing to do, and that the changes you want to make are the right ones. It’s an all hands on deck situation. Everyone has to buy into it. And, here is the most important thing…you as the top person in the company has to be for the change. Remember that everyone in the company takes their cues from the leader. So, if you are the leader and you are change averse…I have one bit of advice for you and it’s…you guessed it….CHANGE!
- Remove barriers: Speaking of team leadership. The company leader’s main job is to remove all the barriers to change. Make sure that the team’s path to change is as clear as possible and you’re the one who has to do the clearing.
- Communicate/ simplify the message: “Peace and Bread” the Russian revolution was started by the use of these two simple words. The people were hungry, and they were tired of war. So, when the Bolsheviks showed up and promised them “Peace and Bread” they converted the populace and the rest is history. It’s all about simple communications. The simpler and easier the better. Good clear communications is the key element to causing change to happen.
- Celebrate your successes: People love success. People love recognition. Start with small success and then build from them. Recognize those who are doing a good job not only adapting to but actually driving change. The more you recognize them for their achievements the more they will become your best “change mongers”
And one more in the spirit of under promise and over deliver. Reinforce: keep at it whether you are making progress, or you are slowing down. You as the company leader has to keep reinforcing the message and the need for change. Remember that change and the need for change will never stop or you’ll get stuck in a good is the enemy of great situation. Keep at it. Be a change dynamo and your company will grow and thrive. It’s only common sense.