A Labor Department study estimates about 65% of current grade schoolers will work in a job that does not yet exist. Change is a constant and resisting it is futile and often damaging.
So how do we make change work for us and our company?
The right formula begins with thoughtful management that has a “change strategy.” Managers must include the following:
Allow employees to have authorship of the change, instead of imposing it on them. There’s a big difference between “this is what you have to do” versus “these are our goals, how can you make them happen?”
The need for the change must be made clear and there can’t be anything vague about the answer to this employee question? “How does this benefit me?” Provide an ongoing dialogue on how the change is working.
- Benchmark Proof
Share evidence along the way the change is working. Proof trumps promises every time.
- Message & Compensation Match
It is one thing to say this is important, it’s another to back it up with employee compensation. Nothing undercuts change more than a failure to put your money where your mouth is.
The Risk of No Change
For those who feel the status quo is serving their interests well, not changing has its risks. Just 61 companies in the Fortune 500 in 2014 were on the list in 1955, nearly 90% are no longer there. Kodak had about 62,000 employees in the Rochester area in 1982. It filed for bankruptcy in 2012 with just over 2,000 employees there. Though it invented digital photography back in 1976, it got shelved because Kodak film was the standard. As one writer put it, Kodak’s unraveling was “not because the company didn’t have the technology to compete in the new era but because it lacked the vision to use it.”
You Have A Choice
Poor management is no excuse for a poor attitude. You have a choice on how to respond. You can close your mind or you can make the most of the cards you’re dealt, often turning anxiety into opportunity.
The founder of Minds at Work, Jason Clarke, says, “You can keep things the same or you can make a difference, but you cannot do both.” Though change may bring anxiety, never underestimate what you are capable of. Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team.
You’re more amazing than you think.
The writer conducts keynotes and seminars on more than 20 business organizational and communication topics. Don’t hesitate to contact him for help: 518.650.5096.