Adapting to change has become a crucial survival skill in many fields. Unfortunately, we cannot simply change from one thing to another. We must learn to deal constantly with change.

Many of the most successful companies
have learned to not only deal with change but to encourage it.

However to do this we have to develop an organizational culture that is much different from that of even the recent past.

Our focus as consultants is precisely in this area. It is a focus on developing your resources, particularly in the area of harnessing the incredible potential of your employees. We believe that your employees will be the difference between your success and failure, the basis for your survival.

As you know this is not a new concept. The futurists have been predicting our current predicament for over twenty years. "Future Shock" is "Now Shock".

What is different is that managers are learning the hard way that talking about change and actually changing the way we manage and the way we work are different things entirely.

We simply must do what we have been talking about.

It Probably Won't Be Easy

Change occurs in one of three ways; shock, evolution, or choice.

More and more managers are committing to a conscious process of change by choice. They want to keep their organizations visible in the face of continual external change by carefully directing their own fate, rather than reacting to shocks or evolving accidentally into something inappropriate.

Often, however, these managers have to deal with employees who are not comfortable with the requirements of change, and resistant to new or different ways of doing things, including taking more responsibility for their own choices, actions and results.

In many organizations, employees have developed a dependency on management that is no longer appropriate in today's competitive environment.

After years of using management as a control, efforts to successfully develop new cultures where individual employees are trusted and required to act on their own has sometimes created confusion, tension and mistrust.

Information Without Implementation
Is A Waste of Time

In efforts to create these new cultures, many managements have responded by providing training in the hope that it would be enough. They believed that by simply providing the new information, the desired change would occur. Much frustration exists within organizations where high expectations were placed upon newly created and expensive "training" departments. While in many cases the training provided has been excellent, the cultural change fails to materialize, and the training gets blamed.

In these cases it has been supposed that newly acquired knowledge would have one of several potentially positive results.

One of these hoped for benefits is that knowing new things will automatically result in new behavior. Another wished for benefit is that teaching employees will let the managers off the hook.

Neither is very likely to happen.

Nothing Changes Until Management Changes

It's not what or who your employees know, but it's what you do about what you know, that makes the difference. Accumulating knowledge without putting it to work is a waste of time and money. That is almost guaranteed to result when management chooses a course of trying to change you and not changing me. So, when we talk about employee commitment, managers are included.

"Do I Have To Change?"

No there are always choices. Choosing to stay the same should be a conscious decision, not the result of putting off looking very carefully at your options.

The decision of if you change, as well as the decisions about when and how you change, need to be conscious choices; neither the result of lethargy nor responding to fads.

Many managers who put off important decisions fearing risks have come to realize too late that staying the same carries risks as well. The point is, to decide what moves or changes are appropriate.

Sometimes we can wait too long.

Take A Different Perspective

If you perceive change as something to have to do, or as a problem, try looking at it a little differently. Look at it as an opportunity to survive.

A New Reality

Changes predicted to occur in the work force during this decade suggest to us that to successfully develop cultures that will thrive on meeting new challenges will require careful hiring, continual development, and perhaps most important retention of employees already working for us. After years of tired assumptions about new, and perhaps better, employees waiting in line, the new reality is that qualified successors will be in short supply.

The new reality also means that employees who just do what they are told is far from enough. What is needed to succeed tomorrow are employees who give their very best. We will survive and prosper with employees who are committed to our mission, not complying with our orders.

Knowing who will thrive in our cultural "garden" and dealing with those who are "weeds" will become a key ingredient in successfully managing change.

What we as consultants can do to help.
© 2012 Lumpkin & Associates. All rights reserved.