How to Inspire Change in a Team, or Firm, When It Is Used to Doing Things the Old Way?Jorge Leger
As time progresses, the world begins to change, both physically and metaphorically. The secret to human development and evolution lies in changing with it. However, psychological studies have suggested, time and again, that human beings are afraid of what they don’t understand.
“The secret to change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but building the new” – Socrates
Changing old habits and practices is a similar case. It is like stepping into uncharted territories and exploring places that no one has ever been before. In organizations, employees resist change because they fear for their position and that automation, for example, might one day render them useless. This is not the case and team members have to be convinced otherwise.
The importance of change
Evolution is important. It has allowed humans to survive for so many years and the lack of it resulted in the extinction of numerous animal species. In organizations it is a completely different story.
Keeping up with evolving business dynamics
Business processes evolve every day. Marketing techniques, financial planning tools and the like are created and tested almost every day and something new emerges as a result of market research and studies. Changing allows organizations to keep in touch with what is going on around them and keep up with others in a race to become sustainable. Being slow in embracing change can sometimes cause entire empires to falter. Nokia and Kodak are the best examples.
Staying ahead of the competition
Irrespective of whether an organization embraces change or not, others will. When new processes and tools are introduced, the proactive companies take it upon themselves to introduce and implement these changes into their culture making their operations streamlined and efficient.
Being more efficient and productive
Change might not always be positive but the ones that are can considerably alter operations. Automation, as we mentioned earlier, is one of the ideal references in this regard. Bringing in systems that help employees with tasks that they otherwise had to perform manually can make them churn out results faster, making the overall company more productive.
The factors that resist change in an environment
In order to understand how to inspire change, it is imperative to know the factors that contribute to the resistance towards it. These factors are the source where the problem lies and when this is addressed, the rest of the process becomes quite simple.
Fear of the unknown
We brushed upon this factor in the introduction because it is the fundamental drivers to the reluctance towards change. It is something that is embedded into human minds and is natural. It is expected whenever changes are introduced into a team or firm and therefore a leader should always be prepared to handle them effectively. Old employees and people trained to execute functions the ‘prehistoric’ way will always feel that new systems might hurt their own jobs and positions in some way. As a result, even the slightest rumors in this regard can cement their views and fears making the resistance even stronger.
Lack of will to learn completely new methods
Humans are not only fearful of the unknown, they are also lazy. As a result once they become accustomed to old ways, training for and learning new methods seems to them like a waste of time and energy. This gives rise to a half hearted approach to new ways meaning that implementation is not as sharp as expected.
How true leaders inspire change in their teams?
A hallmark of a true leader lies in the fact that he prepares for what is to come by predicting every possible outcome of his actions. When it comes to change, a true leader has to be able to build his way from the ground up. If they are able to lay strong foundations for the change they are about to introduce, they results will automatically be promising.
Interact on a personal level
Team interactions and communications are good at conveying official tasks and objections. Embracing change on the other hand has more to do with individuals and the way their brain is wired. This means that in order to inspire team members to be ready and welcoming towards what follows, organizations have to sit down and make the employees understand exactly what they’re about to do, listen to any and all reservations that they have, give them the opportunity to interact, obtain feedback from others, and then feel free to come and discuss whatever might be troubling them with the person in charge. This allows confusions and reservations to be cleared gradually but effectively.
Lead from the front
A true leader makes sure that instead of issuing directives, they speak through actions. It is said that you have to be change that you wish to see in others and that is what sets a leader apart from others. In order to inspire change, organizations have to determine one such figure head and assign them the responsibility of leading the team or department towards the goal.
It is best that this leader come from inside the organization. He might be trained by external consultants but the person implementing the measures should be a local figure from the organization because patronizing one of their own is easier for employees rather than learning from an outsider.
Communicate to learn
Communication is the cornerstone of every successful action. On individual as well as collective levels, the more effective the communication is and the greater the chances for success are. Inspiring leaders always communicate to learn and not dictate. They believe that they have much to learn and implement feedback from their team members in order to make themselves better. This also motivates other members to be more active because they see that they matter and this makes them contribute more to the cause.
Inspiring change is not an easy task and requires extensive planning and deliberations in order to get it right. We at Astound Media are here to help you achieve your goals quickly and easily. Take a look through the services we offer and choose the one that best fits the needs of your company. It is extremely important, therefore every effort must be made to inspire it. Let us help you redefine the status quo & CAPTIVATE your audience.