Monday, October 19, 2009

Don't Forget the "Why" When Initiating Change

Are you trying to redirect your company, with limited success? Perhaps you see a strategically critical change in direction that would set you apart from your competitors. Maybe it's a company culture that you've decided just can't prevail. Whatever it might be, it requires a change to the hearts and minds of a number (sometimes a lot) of people.

A Chief Executive Boards International member brought up such a challenge at a recent meeting. He said, "I'm trying to get my employees to see that we have to make a change in the way we do business, and they seem to be working harder to keep it from happening than they are to make it happen." Frustrating, to be sure, but common. And built into the human condition. People don't like change, and if they think they can resist it, they will.

One member offered an interesting perspective, asking, "How much time have you spent on helping them understand why this change is essential?" Good question. Many of us spend most of our time communicating what we want. We presume the why is obvious -- it usually is to us. Yet most employees don't have the same tune playing in their head as you do, so it's difficult for them to clap along. Their tune is on radio station WIIFM -- "What's In It for Me?" That's where the why comes in.

When you're communicating ideas that require your employees (or spouse, or kids, for that matter), to make a change, be sure you include the why along with the what, and that the why connects to their self-interest. Even if not fully convinced to go along, they'll be far less likely to be pushing back, and they'll see your wisdom over time.

If you've either been particularly successful or had a lot of trouble with change management, click "Comment" below and share your experiences with others.

Other CEBI Blog Articles...

To forward this to a friend, Click Here

Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International

Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments to CEBI Blog articles are moderated to ensure member privacy and control spam. All comments except those deemed inappropriate should post within 24 hours.