Why Change is Hard – Its not Rocket Science!

They say the best knowledge and insight comes from the things that fail. Yet we don’t seem to value what fails.

We don’t interrogate it? We don’t ask ourselves why? And we continue to look at blaming and not understanding.

That’s probably a bit harsh. There may be cursory interrogation of what failed. We may have the conversation and:

  • not change anything.
  • superficially change things
  • say we will change but passively aggressively sabotage to prevent the change from happening.

Why do we shy away from change? Is it because we are personally invested in the outcome and we’ve lost our sense of perspective? Or is it because we might be blamed for the change or ongoing changes?

And contained in the blame is the fear, the anxiety, the competition, the need to succeed at someone else’s expense?

I always say that the best learning comes out of the struggle.  Yet we don’t want to struggle and learn together.

If we want change, then there has to be some level of struggle, without struggle there’s no learning and without learning there’s no change.

There’s nothing new in this concept yet in organisations where the bottom line is results and $$$ that’s all we seem to be interested in. So we don’t do anything differently.  Oh there’s a lot of effort put into change and yet for all the effort, the talking, the rhetoric little long-term outcome is experienced from it.

We prefer to deal with the tangible things: systems, processes, structures.  We can change these things.  See them, touch them and ….. here it comes….. control them! We love controlling things because then we feel we are in control!

What a shame.

If we continue to focus on the tangible aspects of an organization that we can control, then we are headed for trouble with a capital T.

That’s not where the passion is or the performance, or the value-add, or commitment or going the extra mile. You’re not harnessing your people power.

We need to look at how we plan, what we’re focusing on.  Our line of sight to our vision needs to be really clear.  Everything we do at every level needs to be connected and clearly linked to that vision.  If it isn’t then capital T will spring up again.

I can already hear you saying.  What a crock! We already do this and we still don’t get the outcomes we’re seeking or need.

And my response would be that you need to look at your process.  Does it include the whole system? Have your captured the people passion within your organisation?

So the most important area of focus is:  to get our values and our behaviours right.  This does not mean that the Executive arm of the organization will cascade its values throughout the organization and expect everyone to be delighted and eagerly accept them and put them into practice.  It also does not mean that you will go through a clayton’s process. It doesn’t work that way.

In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems.  We need to get buy-in.  Not just superficially.  Real buy-in.  Real commitment. No ad hoc process will give you the outcomes you’re seeking.

What I see in organisations is that often we are just going through the motions. Great we’ve done that, we can now tick that box.  Your people will feel it, sense it, smell it, a mile away.  And they won’t want to be part of it.

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