When I think of Groundhog Day, I can’t help but think about the movie with Bill Murray. You might remember the movie. Bill Murray played a weatherman who continually woke up to Ground Hog day every morning. It was so funny it was ridiculous. Or was it? How many business owners play the same Groundhog Day even though the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Or maybe the owner makes minor changes and hopes that it will be enough. Like Murray they are not seeing the need to change. If business owners do not see the need for change, they won’t do it. They don’t see the need because they are not looking.
Here are four reasons why people resist change.
- The first reason is FEAR. Fear is internal-- it’s in our head. It could be fear of failure or fear of a disruption of the status quo. But although fear is not real it is a crippler of potential. There’s also an acronym that uses the letters F, E, A, and R that defines what fear is. The acronym stands for “False Emotions Appearing Real.”
- The second reason people resist change is because of EGO. The need to be right is a powerful human need. It’s a common problem with leaders, managers, and business owners.
- The third reason why people resist change is to avoid CONFLICT. Because when you try to do something “out of the box” you are making people uncomfortable because they have grown accustomed to the status quo. People want to avoid uncomfortable conflicts and confrontations.
- The fourth reason that people resist change is LACK OF PURPOSE. Without a sense of purpose, people become stagnant and complacent. People get burnt out.
Margaret Wheatly is a writer on organizations and their development. She observed, “ To be responsible inventors and discoverers, we need the courage to let go of the old world, to relinquish most of what we have cherished, and to abandon our interpretations about what does and doesn’t work. We must learn to see the world anew.”
What exactly does that mean? Manage for RESULTS. Instead of concerning yourself with the way things are done ask instead what purpose the activity achieves. If it does not produce a desired business result scrap it.
Here is an example: “Most companies squander 10 to 20 percent of revenue in support of wasteful products or procedures … at Kodak, waste drained an estimated 1.6 billion to 3.2 billion … sharpen their pencils. Cut costs and shorten organizational cycles in everything.” ~ George Fisher, former Chairman and CEO of Eastman Kodak.
How many times have you heard the phrase, “We’ve always done it that way”? You may have even said it yourself. The next time you hear it or catch yourself saying it turn things around. Ask why are we doing it this way? Will this help us achieve our goals? Is this the best way, the best solution? If you don’t get satisfactory answers it is time to make a change.
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