Change ahead road sign

Oh No! It’s Change…

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” -George Bernard Shaw

Why are people so afraid to change? Sure, it can be scary and the fear of the unknown isn’t the best feeling, but you change things everyday and these changes don’t scare us. For instance, you change the way you look, the clothes you wear, what you eat…yet there is still so much resistance when it comes to changing the way you do things at work. You hear folks say “We have always done things this way!” or “We tried that a few years ago and it didn’t work!” or “We don’t do things like that around here!” This attitude rarely provides the best outcome.

So let’s take a look at some of the things people are willing to change:

  • Your baby’s diaper and/or your underwear!
  • Your shoes after you step in a giant puddle. Soggy socks and shoes are the worst!
  • Light bulbs
  • Oil in your car
  • Your last name when you get married

So why can’t change come so easy in the workplace? When we see a problem, why can’t we get everyone on board to change the way we do things and fix the problem? Well if it was that easy, I am sure the business world wouldn’t have as many issues as it does. But, if we go about it the right way, with the right team, and the right strategy, we can make a big impact with the changes. If you are one of the “motivators of change”, CONGRATS! But keep in mind there are many more “resistors of change” out there and these are the folks we need to focus on.

“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has it’s enemies.” -Robert Kennedy

To get the resisters on board we need to share with them how the change will impact their daily routines. It’s important that they know how it will improve their workload, make tasks easier and allow them to focus more time on the things that they enjoy doing at work. This is the key to successful change. Understanding the impact of change will hopefully engage your team and create a positive outlook on the project. Focus your efforts on the “resistors” and turn them into “motivators”! I bet when your mom told you that if you don’t change your underwear you will smell awful, lose your friends, never get a job and live in filth the rest of your life you went out and bought a month’s supply of clean undies!

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” -Winston Churchill