Change is the only constant… So why do we resist it so much?
It is all too easy to be become complacent and comfortable with ‘the way we’ve always done it.’ After all, it took a lot of effort to get where you are today, so why not just sit back, relax and enjoy?
You could, but your competitors won’t.
Change has never been so quick in the market.
And the pace of change is only gaining momentum.
The industry you play in is moving as fast as the technology that is driving it. So by doing things the way you have been for the last few years, you risk becoming more outdated by the minute.
It might not be surfacing as an immediate problem today but what happens when it does?
Beckhard and Harris’ ‘Change Equation’ states that, for change to happen successfully, the following statement must be true:
Dissatisfaction x Desirability x Practicality > Resistance to Change
Let’s think about that in reality:
Dissatisfaction: If your team isn’t dissatisfied with the situation, they will never feel like change is necessary. This will lead to stagnation and people will shy away from pressing ‘go’.
This factor may be the most obvious indicator for change, and will almost always factor into the equation. Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer for Microsoft, states that only 17% of the British workforce is truly satisfied with their job. To put that in perspective, 83% are either dissatisfied, or complacent with their current working situation.
Desirability: Change is only going to look attractive if you have a clear vision of where it will take the company.
THAT OH SO INSPIRING VISION.
Painting a picture of tomorrow matters. It might not matter to you, but it matters to us all subconsciously.
Did you know that when you search for www.relentless.com you get redirected to Amazon? It isn’t widespread knowledge, but it acts as an internal beacon, and a subtle message to Amazon employees and customers that the vision for Amazon, their drive and ambition is relentless.
Practicality: Your team needs to believe that change is possible. Maybe you have a vision for entirely cloud-based infrastructure, but are currently operating 10 data centres and thousands of servers…. No one will think it is practical to jump all the way to the end of the journey, but they will buy into the practicalities of making the first step towards a vision.
Take the recent RBS tech catastrophe. By not having a vision and failing to make incremental changes to stay updated and relevant, the bank was fined £56m, and now requires a further £150m/year investment to improve its IT infrastructure. They are left playing catch-up.
Nationwide planned in advance, they had a vision and took the first step. And recently completed an overhaul of their entire IT Infrastructure to the tune of £2bn.
The only way your team will be more at ease with change is if all three of the factors are met. If any of them are a zero, the equation doesn’t work and resistance to change remains greater.
Change (for the better) won’t happen on it’s own. It takes a leader, a game-changer, someone with a vision for a better future.
The key is that change needs to be driven.
There is no room for passengers.