There are two basic ways in which change will happen to your results. The more desirable way is Proactively, where you change the things you are doing and the way you are doing them. However if you do not change your behaviors, inevitably change will come Incidentally, because the world will change around you!
“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change”. Bill Clinton
This is one of the prime motivators for companies to pursue growth strategies, because otherwise they WILL go backwards.
The same principle applies to us as individuals, if we stop learning and growing, pushing and improving, then we will be overtaken by change around us and most likely by those who are willing to keep changing.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change”. Charles Darwin
Here are some of the common comments from people resisting change:
“We have always done it this way.” Or “Everybody does it this way.”
“Why change something that is working?”
“I know best.”(One of my all time favorites)
“We worked hard to get to this point!” (The unsaid statement being that it will be hard work to change it.)
As a leader you will need to overcome those objections from your team but more importantly from within your own brain! If you don’t believe in the change then you are never going to convince others to go along!
Here are 10 practical things that you can do:
Involve everybody affected in the development of the “new way”. They don’t need to all be in a big strategy session, but they do need some way to provide input and they need to understand why the change is happening. People will react better if they feel a part of the change as opposed to having change imposed on them.
Don’t make the change too big … try to break it down into manageable bites. Get some small wins to build on!
Reward success … whether it is recognition, small incentives or even monetary rewards. The rewards need to be in line with the “wins” but at a minimum people need to get some recognition.
You are likely building new habits, and we all know how hard that is … try starting a new exercise regime, quitting smoking etc. There likely needs to be some prescribed changes that are measured, monitored and managed. If you just ask (or tell) “them” to just do it … good luck with that!
There should be a ton of communication.
There should be executive level support and encouragement.
Try to get champions. If you can get some members of the team having success, then they can help in the education, “selling” and implementation of the “new way”.
Recognise that there will be setbacks … don’t give up! Find new ways, try different approaches, rekindle the enthusiasm … do not allow the “naysayers” to win.
As a leader, it is critical that you always support the initiative, and encourage any other leaders to do the same. If people sense any support against the change the project will be doomed.
Be available to give advice and to bring support and leadership. Do not disappear and expect the “project” to get done.
“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy