“My people are so resistant to change.” “They just want to live in the dark ages.” “I need to hire some different people so my company can compete with the early adopters in my industry.”
Like me, you have probably heard all the clichés about managing change in business. There’s always this mythical, but usually unnamed mass of people who just see it as their role to make it difficult for those who are driving the business forward. Change resisters. Laggards. Bloody minded blockers of progress.
Well I say its time to call BS on that whole conversation. Just follow these people home. Root through their bins. Sneak into their lounge at night. You know, the things you do. You’ll soon find these same change resisters are downloading the latest boxed sets on their Netflix account, upgrading to the latest Android handset and blending their juices in the latest gadgetry. They don’t hate change. They just hate your project. Perhaps they are more loss-averse than change-averse, or the communication plan hasn’t got through – no use complaining about buy-in if you haven’t been selling very well. And by the way effective selling isn’t about shouting “buy this or things will get really nasty.”
So we need to rethink what change is. We need to rethink how we sell change programmes to our people (if buy-in was ever really important to us). And we need to rethink our model of how people embrace change in organisations. If we get this right then we could be seeing the benefits of automation, efficiency, outsourcing, customisation or whatever change we were hoping to install. We could see our customers more delighted, our people more excited and hopefully a few less consultants around the place. Wouldn’t that be a change?