It’s a scary thought for most people. And that’s perfectly natural. Your body and Psyche is pre programmed to avoid change. Think about it.
In caveman days, change was rarely a good thing. The familiar was comfortable. You might go up a tree or stand on a hill and survey your known world. And if it all looked the same as yesterday then that’s great.
But if there was something that didn’t look right – that was likely to be a bad thing. A herd of wildebeest heading your way, might be being chased by a sabre tooth tiger. Or that thing that looks like the sun on the horizon might be a bush fire threatening your village.
Our brain likes to make us safe and will keep us in a comfort zone where everything is known and therefore ‘safe’. And that is why it is so hard to make a change yourself, let alone getting everyone in your business onside to make a change.
Generally, people only make a change in a business if they are forced to, and if the NOT changing is clearly more painful than the changing. OR if the change is going to be much more pleasurable and therefore safer.
No-one really chooses change – unless the place they are in is considerably worse than the new place they are going. That’s not quite true – I do know a few change junkie’s. They are driven by the need for variety and fear boredom above everything.
However, most people resist change, because they fear it.
Science is a good example of resistance to change. When the idea was espoused that the world was in fact round, most people did not accept it. In fact pretty much everytime there is a new scientific theory or discovery – it is poo poo’d, until there is more evidence, and then suddenly it becomes the new norm and people can’t imagine why they ever thought the world was flat / there wasn’t such a thing as a black hole / space travel wasn’t possible.
So how does this apply to your business, and how you can make changes?
Well, the first thing to look at is – are there changes that need to be made that you are putting off? If you are not making changes in your business, are you falling behind the market? If that’s true – at some point you may HAVE to make changes, and when you leave it until you absolutely have to make the changes, then potentially it could be too late.
The key to making changes is to communicate often and fully. If your team understand what changes are being made, why they are being made and the commitment of the business to making them, then you are half way there.
The story you tell and the picture you paint about the changes are key. The changes need to be obviously for the massive benefit of the business and the downside of NOT introducing the changes needs to be not understated!
The most important thing though is that the change is pro-active rather than reactive, by which I mean that it is a planned change and not a forced change. If you need to make a change in your business and you are not sure how to do it, how it will be received and the right steps to take to make it happen – email me on [email protected]
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Julie Hutchison is co-Director with Jan Sargent of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:
01722 484155 or 07947 823842