Change. Just hearing the word by itself is enough to have shivers run up and down some people’s spines. The true paradox however, is that most people say they are in favor of change – as long as it doesn’t affect them.
Ouch. That is a double standard that will surely shoot down any attempt at success. It is as true in the corporate world as our private worlds. Change does not come easy. But sometimes it’s essential. A few weeks ago my doctor told me I had to lose weight and exercise more. It didn’t please me to hear it, but I know he’s right, and I’m working hard at it.
A few years ago I worked with a CEO who wanted a more innovative culture in the company, but could never accept suggestions that challenged his own ideas.
Another time a general store manager of one of the largest retail outlets asked me about reducing their insane level of staff turnover. She nodded and agreed with everything as we analyzed the cost and the cause. She came to the inevitable conclusion of how to fix the problem and said only that the company wouldn’t let her do it. After over a century as undisputed market leader the retailer recently is struggling not just to stay relevant, but to survive.
I believe former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorini said it best. “The natural momentum of any organization is to maintain the status quo.”
Eight years ago I moved from Canada to the United States (long story I may share another time). I used to drink tea and beer. Now it’s half-caf, low-fat mocha and Bud Light.
Ed Wildeman is training manager and facilitator with PRIME Learning Group specializing in Human Resources, Leadership and Communications. His seminars and workshops have been attended in almost every province and state. Currently he is studying advanced theories of Corporate Culture.