We all have to deal with change. It's a part of everyday life. Last time, I wrote about being resistant to Change. This time, we'll talk about a person who wants continuous change....but struggles to stay focused.
I've worked with several companies that are navigating change. In most cases, it was a good change. It doesn't mean it's easy...but it's a good change.
I have experienced 'change' just for the sake of 'change'. And...that's not always good.
Change for the Sake of Change
He meant well. He really did.
He'd been put in a leadership role before he was ready. Many of us have been put in that situation. He had become the manager of a team of people that were great employees, but needed stability in their day-to-day lives. They needed a regular structure in place to be successful. They were a valuable team - but their business structure and procedures hadn't changed for years.
Instead of learning some of the key things he needed to learn to be successful...he decided to just change everything....without understanding how the business functioned from day today. He didn't seek input from the long-term employees. He didn't even seek the reasons for why things were done the way they were.
Every week - everything was changing.
He'd read a new book...it would give him ideas. He'd want to change everything.
He'd go to the latest seminar - he'd come back with new ideas. He'd want to change everything.
He'd hear new ideas on a podcast. He'd want to use those ideas to change everything.
But - his staff just got tired of hearing about 'the newest change'. And....they'd just go on about their business the way they always had.
The office staff lasted in their jobs. The new manager didn't...
Reasons for Change - Seek to Understand
So many people I know get in a routine and don't want to change the way they do their daily jobs. Often - it's for a very good reason...their current system works!
The manager mentioned above could have been successful with a few 'tweaks' to how he introduced change:
Understand the current 'system':
The current system may not be perfect, but it's in place for a reason. Maybe it was an
excellent system in 1995. Maybe it's a bad system, but it's all anyone in the office has ever known. The key thing for the manger would have been to understand the 'why' and 'how' the current system worked. Learn the current system - and learn it from the people that are using it every day.
Understand how changing will affect the team:
The ladies at the office in my example didn't understand how his proposed changes would help them do their day to day jobs. If a new change can help your team do their job better, be more efficient, or free them up to do other tasks....they need to understand it clearly.
Understand that change will take time:
Those folks in your current system have used it for years. They will likely be resistant to you changing their system. Empathize with them, stick by their side as they struggle with the change...but...stick with it.