Business Killers: 3 Villains that Kill Change Initiatives
Working with our clients to develop and execute strategy, most often there is a need for change, whether a small shift in a new direction or transformational. This is without question challenging for any organization, and requires a long term commitment to see it through. Why? Because people inherently do not like change. It’s disruptive, risky, and discomforting.
The major culprit to successfully leading change is managing people’s feelings. The ability to lead and influence change is based on how your people feel about the change and how they make others feel. Discomfort, Risk and Disruption are three common negative feelings that will rob (“Villains”) your organization from achieving the change you want. Unfortunately, for every person that supports change, there is probably an equal number that resist it and might possibly sabotage it.
The first Villain that will sabotage your efforts to change is the feeling of Discomfort. If one is experiencing discomfort, one feels vulnerable and therefore unwilling to change. The way around this is to change people’s mindset by helping them understand that if they are feeling discomfort, it is a positive sign that they are leading change. Can you think of examples how discomfort has been a roadblock in your organization’s attempts at change?
The second Villain that will upset your change efforts is the feeling of Risk. If the organization’s culture is risk adverse, then this will be a major hurdle. To overcome this Villain of change, create a climate where people that take risk are rewarded and where failure is not necessarily a career stopper. Encourage employees to be proactive and take responsibility and accountability for their work. Let them know that change involves risk. Who in your organization has taken a risk lately? How have you handled their successes or failures?
The third Villain that will obstruct your change efforts is the feeling of Disruption. We all heard the saying, “we’ve always done it this way.” To do something differently will mean learning something new and different. This Villain of change includes discomfort and risk, and adds a measure of status quo. Some people will never be willing or comfortable moving away from the status quo, which is a death sentence for any
change initiative. Are there departments or managers in your organization that will avoid anything that disrupts the way they do things now?
Change the paradigm in your organization. Do not let feelings of disruption, risk and discomfort sabotage your change initiatives. Let us know how you have handled change initiatives in your organization, and if we can be of help, give us a call.