Change Happens – Will You Build Walls or Windmills?

August 6th, 2014   •   no comments   

Aug4_2014_change_walls_windmills

Whether one likes it or not, change happens. The change itself is not good or bad, in reality it’s quite neutral.  It becomes good or bad based on these two major factors – resistance or engagement. Interestingly enough, experience and research seems to bear out that more walls are built by individuals and organizations around change than windmills.With the economic and social climates in constant flux there is a feeling of instability which causes strong actions and emotions.

Walls are built because…

  • The business structure is so fixed and elaborate that it becomes a maze to work around and through. Impacting change and making suggestions has to go through so many hoops that people become frustrated at every turn and decide it’s easier, and safer, to do what has been dictated by performance and job standards.  As a result, rather than attempt change and challenge, they will continue on a path that doesn’t make sense but keeps them employed or in business.
  • The vision, mission and values have become buried under the two “B‘s” – bureaucracy and baloney.  The culture has become inundated with agendas, rumors,  intimidation and rhetoric. Consider the recent layoff from Microsoft as published in the article published in New York News and Politics,Microsoft Just Laid Off Thousands of Employees With a Hilariously Bad Memo .  This change not only affected the employees that were laid off, but also built walls of resistance not just for the current employees, but for future employees and the world-at-large’s perception of how Microsoft will deal with change.
  • The market niche’ fits perfectly.  Stay small and safe. Keep delivering the same reliable, tested product and service over and over again and business will hum along at a predictable pace. In the meantime,  competitors streak past.

Windmills are built because…

  • There is flexibility built into the culture so that new ideas, innovation and creativity are continually generated, acknowledged and tested. Chief Change Officer is the new coveted title.
  • As a fundamental core values of the business, change is not just given lip service. From the boardroom to the basement, clear actions and behaviors are defined and described for all to appreciate and embrace.
  • Change is viewed as an opportunity.  In 2013, The Guardian published, Campbell Soup CEO: “You can lead the change or be victim of change.’   Denise Morrison, CEO since 2011 realized that change was a leading factor in sustainability and embraces change to set Campbell apart as a “tastemaster” not a “trendsetter.

Change Happens

Change happens as sure as the sun rises and sets.  As 720thinkers, we prefer to build windmills. How about you, will you built walls or windmills?

 

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