Here is a post I made on Linkedin.com that I am sharing here with my followers.
Why do we like change in our personal life, but not at work?
It's enlightening to me when Ernie and I ask during a session, "how many people have the latest smart phone version of their phone", we get an 85% hand raise from the participants. We deepen the conversation with the participants by asking:
Tracey/Ernie: - "was the current version not working?"
The participants: the majority answer, "yes it was working".
Tracey/Ernie: "if was working properly why would you change?"
The participants: "we wanted the latest technology"
Tracey/Ernie: "so you are expressing to us that you like change?"
The participants: "Absolutely!"
So we grin and continue on with one more question for the participants, we ask - "How many of you have the same TV you had 20 years ago?", again the majority of hands show there has been a change. Similar to smart phone and other electronic gadgets these days we tend to gravitate towards the latest and greatest. So we have come to the realization that most people within this facet of life, love change. Why is this?
So we ask, "if you are so willing to change in your personal life, why is change in your work life so difficult?" When new concepts of thinking are introduced to a business why are they looked at with such judgement? For example, we can use 5S - how many people remember their first experience with it? Do you remember thinking of it as an "add-on?" Usually the first response we get is, "we have always done it this way and it's worked well--I don't have time for this!". Our response is "oh really, didn't we just establish change is good?" We are so open to it when we are in control of it, but yet we aren't in other facets such as work. It's fascinating to me what dynamics in our minds change. We have shown we like it, now how do we tap into that source for work. It's like re-framing our viewpoint in a sense. We need a hook!
We continue to fuel the flame and ask, "do you do business the same way you did 20 years ago?" We refer to our personal pasts and share "if we made the same model of Camry we made when we started (1988) would it still sell today?" Probably not as well, right? We try to make the point that change is a part of who we are as individuals (from the moment we are born) and what should naturally take place within an organization to meet the need of the ever-changing market. The problem is it doesn't, we migrate to a comfort zone and for some reason we like to stay there, as in ~ "we make plenty of profit now, why rattle the tree?" As we know from experience it takes a little shaking to get the fruit sometimes.
We feel that if an organization takes the time to explain why change is important, then people may find the buy-in process a little more acceptable. For instance if you are an Apple person, we may often watch the infamous Fall "announcements" about the latest and greatest Iphone. We as the consumer then make the decision as to whether we upgrade or not--did they present a good hook?. From what I see as a smart phone owner this tactic must influence the market well enough to encourage change, otherwise you wouldn't see a new one out each September.
So the question is how do we tap into area of our brains that is so accepting of change and create that feeling within our work lives. It's intriguing to us, we will continue to look for ways, how about you?
Ernie and Tracey Richardson - @tracey_san
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