February 18, 2011

Giving Lip Service to Change

You have heard the quote “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Some say it was Einstein, some say it was Franklin. The point is the meaning behind it.

I have worked with business owners who have tried it the other way around. They narrowed the focus, found the niche, then measured success against the wide mainstream. They did different things expecting the same results.

What does change feel like?

There are theories that we build our set of values by the age of five. After that, it’s all experience and execution. Marriages split after decades of partners trying to change each other. Elections are won by candidates promising change.

Change is not easy. Change requires energy and focus and sustained attention. Change is something that sounds good when someone else says it. Change can fight you. Change can be elusive. Change wears many disguises. Change starts from our core, not our minds. Change is freely available when we want to grab it.

Change is right here

I was speaking with a colleague this week who was commiserating about a client who says she wants change in her organization yet her actions prove the opposite. And I reminded him that most of us like the concept of change but we don’t have a clue what it feels like when it’s happening. Most of us don't realize how deep rooted our habits are which often block change. And those habits once represented change.

Change is awkward and unsure. The ground begins to move beneath us and we crave for things to return to "normal". We are creatures of habit and like to feel safe and comfortable. We may scan the menu but there are usually only a handful if items we order each time we're back to the restaurant.

Say or Do

This is increasingly more difficult in an organization. The economy is still down in many areas of the world yet on the threat of their very survival, companies often fail to realize a necessary organizational shift. Often the people uttering the decree for change aren't willing to change themselves.

There are two significant issues going on – the sheer will of stakeholders to keep their status quo and the monumental task of building inspirational leadership.

Change is not this. Change is unknown. Change can be exciting. Change is unproven. Change can be scary. Change requires a leap of faith. Change can conquer courage. When the bottom line is the only objective, affecting change can often be an illusive pipe dream.

How have you affected change?


image credit: googleimages
© Kneale Mann knealemann@gmail.com people + priority = profit
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