Change: Do You Respond In These 7 Ineffectual Ways?
Change is an ever-present in our lives today. It defines the way we live and work. Yet, for many, change is seen as a threat: something to be avoided and denied. Here are 7 of the most common reactions to change that result in opportunities missed.
1. Do Nothing. There are all sorts of excuses for not responding to change. They include...
? we don't know there is a need to change
? we know but pretend it doesn't matter
? we claim everyone else is in the same boat.
Not to respond to change is like the Peruvian Indians of the 16th century who thought that the approaching Spanish invaders were sea monsters. They did nothing and were conquered.
2. Do Anything. When recession hit companies in the 1990's, a standard response was to employ consultants to fix things. However, for many the experience was a costly disaster. They had been grasping for easy answers from outside instead of managing their own need to change.
3. Do Everything. Taking major action to deal with change has long been a knee-jerk reaction in large organizations. They believe that change requires a steady stream of initiatives from the top that others have to put into effect. The result for those below is change indigestion and the result for the organization a sore tummy.
4. Defy Change. Defying inevitable change is an option of many organizations who think they are big enough to resist what is happening around them. It's the Canute-style of management. But if we simply tell the incoming tide to go back, it will sooner or later devour us. Even Coca-Cola, whose century-old drink still tastes the same today as when it started, test-markets a new product every month.
5. Tinker Around The Edges. There are 2 different ways to look at organizations: as machines or as organic plants. When change arrives, the "machine" organizations tinker around the edges, replacing the worn-out parts and upgrading the rest. The organizations who see themselves as growing plants tend the soil of culture and growth.
6. Evolve. Evolution as a way of handling change is the Darwinian approach to change: gradual, incremental adaptation.This can be very effective if you have time. For example, the largest makers of buggy whips at the turn of the 19th century are now the biggest makers of carburettors. However, in fast-moving times, even evolution may be too slow an option.
7. Rely On Others. Relying on others to take you through change exposes you to two possible unwanted outcomes. First, your leaders may be so immersed in the old ways that they can't see the need to change. Second, they may play the Cortes trick. This is the action the Spanish conquistador took when faced with defeat by the Mexican Indians: instead of retreating, he burnt his ships.
None of these approaches helps you manage change successfully. That will only happen when you let go of your fear of change, understand the opportunities that await you, and joyfully abandon yourself to them.
About the Author: © Eric Garner, ManageTrainLearn.com For instant solutions to all your management training needs, visit http://www.managetrainlearn.com and download amazing FREE training software. And while you?re there, make sure you try out our prize quiz, get your surprise bonus gift, and subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter. Go and get the ManageTrainLearn experience now!