Garrison Wynn: The Mouth of Change
Change is always the same.
Change itself is not the issue; it’s the resistance to change that causes problems. Many of us learned this growing up as we competed in sports, or for the attention of others. In the business world, the resistance is naturally strong when we explain our great reform is based on doing more with less. We tell our coworkers and even our bosses that the future is based on being more productive with fewer resources. (I don’t know about you, but I always dreamed the future would somehow involve physically doing less with much more cool stuff.)
We can attempt to cultivate buy-in by explaining how to be more productive and how to lessen the cost of that productivity, ultimately enabling us to wrap our fingers around that holy grail of business achievement: profitability. But let’s get real. All signs might point to profitability as a logical product of the changes being proposed, and yet logical humans need to see how a change in process will make them look good before they will give it their all.
Through our surveys of top professionals who serve as change agents, Wynn Solutions has noticed a critical first leg of the buy-in journey. (“Critical” and “first leg”? It sounds like change is limping already!) We found that top professionals who succeed in implementing change begin by tactfully explaining that the more people focus on making change work, the more value they have to the company.
Additionally, these professionals dealt with the good-old-days syndrome that prevents some people from creating their own future. You may have heard that to spread change through an organization, you have to prove to key players that the new way is at least as good as, if not better than, the old way. You might think you need to provide some physical evidence (data) and a couple of testimonials (people thought of as straight shooters saying positive things about the changes) as well.
However, if you want people to see it’s possible to succeed by doing more with less, you need to find or create change agents who will massively benefit from the change and who have an outstanding advocate network, great communication skills and “above all” really big mouths.