One of the frequent topics that comes up with clients is their frustration in getting their teams to embrace the changes in their businesses. As we all know, the last few years have brought about multiple significant changes in the business environment, and looking forward there will continue to be changes coming at a much faster pace than ever before for a variety of reasons.
Now we all know that there is a natural resistance to change, in fact, it’s a natural law. The First Law of Motion describes the concept of inertia, which applies to humans as well as objects. A body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion keeps moving in the same direction unless acted upon by an outside force. Well, when it comes to your business, that “body” the law refers to could be the whole business or it could be one individual. The good news is that we know how to get people moving in a new direction. Here are three strategies to help people begin to move, as that is all it takes to get them started.
Strategy 1: Identify the Dissatisfaction
The first strategy is related to their Dissatisfaction. To help people accept and embrace the need for change you need to help them recognize their dissatisfaction with the current situation. This can often be done easily with a basic discussion. Other times this can be difficult, as some employees might be perfectly happy with the way things are. Your job then is to help them see how the current ways of doing things are no longer sufficient, and to see how doing things the same way will no longer serve your clients well. Find out what they think is important in their role and help them see how change is the only way to keep doing it well in the future.
Strategy 2: Share the Vision
The next strategy is related to their Vision. This is where you tap into your Vision for how things will actually be better, not just different. Relate the new outcomes to things they value – client satisfaction, delivering the Mission, living your Core Values. If your team doesn’t see how change will improve anything or move the company forward, they will naturally resist it. Assuming you are making a change to improve things, you simply have to have the conversations to help them buy in.
Strategy 3: Overcome Fear
The last strategy is often the simplest, yet it is often overlooked. A common thread among those who resist change is fear – fear that it is going to be complicated, difficult and overwhelming to even think about. So we call this strategy “First Step”, and it is exactly that. Help your team start down the path of change by identifying a simple first step that gets them moving in the new direction. Don’t let them be paralyzed thinking about all 100 steps, just get them to do the first one.
If you would like to brainstorm on how to help your team embrace change, let’s schedule a 30 minute Strategy Session to identify 2-3 ideas to get your business and your team moving.
Author: Mark McNulty, Business Coach in Louisville, KY