If you look back just 25 years in your business, I would wager you did business much differently than you do today. I would even wager that your business has changed more in the last 5 years than it did in the previous 15. The one constant in business is change. Technology, if nothing else, has forced us to change. When I think of change I remember the years I was serving on a ship in the US Navy. The larger the ship the slower the course change and there is no difference in business. The larger the company the slower the change occurs.
There have been so many businesses that have gone under because they could not change fast enough. We’ve all heard the old adage there is the quick and the dead! I would suggest this is a statement of face and the purpose of this article is to help you help your people adapt and change more quickly. This content comes from two specific courses; “Practical Sales Management Strategies for Today” and “Leadership in Action.” Two courses that can help your managers in greater detail lead their teams quickly through change.
First we need to recognize that all people are different and that change affects them differently. A major behavioral style in people is Dominance. There and those who are more dominate and those who are less dominate. Dominance is shown though a persons willing desire to assert their influence over others. The more dominant a person is the quicker they are to change. More dominate people even recommend changes before we even see they are needed. Less dominate people resist change and are slower to accept it, they will even resist it. The problem is most organizations are made up of people who are less dominate.
A major problem of change is the mindsets people have with it. The first being people always experience discomfort because it takes them out of their comfort zone. A comfort zone if a range of environment or activity in which they are totally comfortable. Effective leaders let their people know in advance they will be there to support them through the period of discomfort. They create support systems and teams to assist people.
The next major mindset is people feel they are being ask to give something up. This is caused by the right answer/ wrong answer mentality. If a person feels what they have been doing has served them well then it becomes the right way meaning your way must be the wrong way. This is why effective leaders don’t tell change they sell change. They sell the opportunity for personal growth to the people.
The third mindset of change is people fee they are alone in the change. Nobody wants to be alone, out on the point taking all the risk. That’s why the effective leader never lets them feel alone by make it a team effort. The leader insures each person on the team is supporting others and the leader is supporting the team.
Now what really determines how quickly people will change is the basic motivation of change. That is: ACTION IS ALWAYS PRECEDED BY DISSATISFACTION! In other words PAIN IS ALWAYS INVOLVED IN CHANGE! This pain can take different forms such as the mindsets, money, time away from home, having to learn new skills, etc.
PEOPLE WILL CHANGE ONLY IF THE PRECEIVED BENEFITS (VALUE TO THEM) OUTWEIGH THE PAIN. What determines the degree of difficulty in the change is how the people feel about it. Their tolerance for change is determined by how they view what is happening in their lives.
If people feel what they are doing is good or good enough there is no motivation, no tolerance for change. So how do you get them to embrace the change? There are two ways and the first we do not recommend!
1. You can attack their present course of action. An attack is personal and builds resistance
2. You can offer them and alternative that provides them greater pleasure, the fulfillment of their personal goals.
For people to embrace change there are three questions we must answer for them.
1. What the change is? Recognizing some people require more information than others.
2. Why the change is being made? Too many managers answer this question by using because “THEY” (Senior Management) said so. Never do that, it devalues the people and kills their belief in the Senior Team and Company! Always try to share the purpose of the change in terms of benefits to your customers.
3. How will this change affect me? They need to hear personal work related benefits to them personally. As mentioned before we must sell change and not just tell the change.
As always, I hope that what I have shared helps you be more effective in creating change. To learn more about this and many other areas of effective leadership, please explore our “Practical Sales Management Strategies for Today” or our “Leadership in Action” multimedia training systems and the process we use to implement them into your organization.
Jim Strutton, CEO
© 2011 Accountability Plus, Inc.
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