Change Is Better

An 80 year old man pulls into a gas station, steps out of his car, and starts pumping gas.  His car is a brand new 2011 Volkswagen Touaregand and it shines like he just drove it off the lot.  Now this sight makes one think, why in the world would an 80 year old man change from what he had to something new, and not just that, why would he pay $60,000 to make the change.  If it were true, really and honestly true that people don’t like to change, then why is this 80 year old man not driving his 1960 model VW.  It’s because he can attach himself to the fact that by changing, his life will be better.  When we get people to think of change in this fashion, not only will they change, but they look forward to it and give change the benefit of the doubt.

Our company structure, the market, our position in the organization is like an old vehicle.  It was dependable and got us where we needed to go but over time, it wears out and when it does, we need to go get a new one.  That requires a change but if the new one is better, then heck why not.  So lets ask the question, when you presented your reorganization plan, the new competencies that were added to an annual review, or a huge strategic shift requiring new skills from people, did you just list what would be different, or did you take the time to show your team how their new world will actually be better.  If what they will do in the future is at best just different than what they are doing now with no identifiable advantages, then yes, expect massive resistance to the change.  Think about it, we could change every traffic light in the country so green now means stop and red means go.  It would cause epic chaos and the end result would still be to only stop and go.  It would just be different and not better so why spend time making people think about it.

If an 80 year old man would spend $60,000 to cause a change, then having people change and like it is possible.  So the question to you is, with the changes you are being asked to make or are asking of other people in the organization, will the end result be better or is it just different?

Ed Beard


Employers Edge, Inc.