How to Deal with Resistance to ChangeJuly 15, 2013 | By Wayne O'Neill
If you frequently hear “But this is how we’ve always done it,” you are probably not happy with the lack of growth in your company. Part 3 of our game changing series “Top 7 Signs Your Company Needs to Change” alerts you to this red flashing signal of resistance to change when you frequently hear “But this is how we’ve always done it.”
Given the ever-changing needs of business drivers such as customers, stakeholders, employees, business operations and the economy, there is a constant adaptation that companies must undergo. Evolve, and you live to fight another day. Stagnate and you will likely die.
Resistance to change is a normal reaction for employees who are comfortable with status quo and embrace routine.
But if you are looking for growth and change, then being stuck with what is comfortable will cripple creativity and limit your potential. Diverse opinions cultivate diverse solutions. If you cling to the past out of fear of the future, then I ask you, “How is that working for you?”
When faced with challenges, it feels intimidating to change, but don’t give in to fear.
The fear of failure is so strong that we sometimes fall back on “what we’ve always done” because we are scared that it may not work and we don’t want to admit to anyone that we really don’t have a clue of what to do. Though all the data and changes in our ecosystem say it is time to change, we rely on the past in hopes that we can “ride the wave”, expecting this is “just a phase.” Or, we bury our head in the sand hoping that if we just ignore it, it will go away. But the business and political issues that are changing your market are not going away and are changing the way successful organizations operate.
In today’s business environment, companies change constantly in order to remain competitive.
Organizational change initiatives stem from the need to survive and thrive. Usually outside pressures from globalization of markets, rapidly evolving technology, and evolving customer demands drive the need to change. The pressure to change can come also come internally from employees.
If you are hearing “But this is how we’ve always done it”, it means your employees have relaxed and you are all on cruise control regarding how they do their job. They are not challenging themselves to try to do things differently or trying non-traditional approaches. They lack innovation and creative thinking.
So here’s the Bottom Line…
- Most CEOs listen to the wrong people when it comes to change. If you only listen to top management who are primarily interested in keeping their job, then you limit your growth. If you only listen to those who resist change, then you will decline.
- Your company needs to change with the market. If you are not changing, then are you just going through the process without thinking about what is going on around you. Read more articles from leading publications and websites. Stay current on industry laws and regulations. Talk to your top customers and make sure you are truly serving their needs. Look at new markets who may not even realize they could benefit from your product/service.
- Be flexible, nimble, and adapt. For example, you cannot use the same pricing model that you did 10 years ago. Hospitals used to calculate price based on the number of hospital beds. But now with so many private rooms, prices have to be calculated differently. If you live in the past you are not changing as the business and political issues change.
I welcome your comments. What else stagnates companies and employees?
Check back next week for the fourth in the series, “Top 7 Signs That Your Company Needs to Change” with the red flashing signal: You find yourself very “alone.” If your network has vanished or your “network for value” is non-existent, then take a closer look at your relationships, connections and networks. If you are the “go to” company for information on what’s happening in the marketplace, but it is all one-sided and your network does not return the favors, then it is time to consider finding better clients or building better relationships with those in your network. One-legged tables are not very secure.
Here are links to the game-changing blogs in this series: