change

I’m sure you’ve heard (or maybe even said?) ‘But we’ve always done it this way!’

I’m equally sure you’ll have the catchphrase ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!’ or even the quotation ‘If it’s not necessary to change, it’s necessary not to change’, (attributed to Edmund Burke, Whig politician 1729-1797 and also to Benjamin Disraeli 1804 – 1881).

The world in the early 21st century is very different to what it was in the 18th and 19th centuries – things move much faster in the realms of communication and technological advances (to name but two!) – but leaving that aside – look at the key word in that very political remark – yes, that’s right, it’s ‘necessary’. Once you see that, you have the key – are we satisfied with only doing what’s necessary – or do we want to do what’s best? Equally, are we satisfied simply because what we have still works – or do we want to improve?

For the modern pro-active business, there’s simply no contest! We want to have and to be the best that we can.

So, if we’re all agreed on that as our aim – why do we still get reluctance to change. Let’s have a look at some possible reasons:

• Expense – this may or may not be applicable, depending on what the change is. But when you’re looking at spending money on a new computer package, or any other resource, don’t just look at the one-off cost – think in terms of what benefits and improvements the change will bring. Look at the bottom line!

• Training – true, a new way of working may well bring a need for workforce training – but is that such a problem? It may be because of:

• Resistance to change – many people resist change because they simply don’t want to move out of their comfort zone. They may doubt their ability to cope (in which case training and appraisal is the way forward) – or maybe they just can’t be bothered. Do you really want people like this working for you?

• Responsibility – now we’re getting to the nitty-gritty! If change is going to take place, someone has to instigate this and drive it forward – and that somebody may well be you! Are you up to it? Not only that, the buck’s got to stop somewhere – and what if the change doesn’t work out!

• Regulations – this is one of the main real obstacles to change. If you’re working in a highly-regulated environment, then your working methods may be prescribed and can’t be changed. But don’t make this an excuse – look at how you can change and progress within those parameters, and don’t hesitate to lobby your regulator if you can work out how to change the system for the better. After all, if it’s such a good idea, sooner or later the regulations will change anyway in order to catch up, so you’ll be ahead of the game!

If you’re the modern, go-ahead, pro-active entrepreneurial business-owner that I know you are – you’ll embrace change in the fast-moving world we live in, and make it work for you. Take responsibility – and you’ll overcome the other barriers I’ve mentioned.

How will that make you feel? Do let me know!