Do you remember the last time you were playing videogames and had a long run of losing games against someone? What did you do to Change that? Let me guess, you’ve changed your controller, your players or even your team. You may have won one or two matches due to these changes, but in the overall process you’ve lost.
If you have done this I would congratulate you, at least you’ve tried to Change.
Some other people will not change a thing and keep on trying even if they know for sure that there is an obvious fault in the system they are using.
We are resisting Change by nature, we love to protect the status que. It is nice to have a routine; it is simple, and it is relieving. But in most cases these systems and routines become outdated and will prevent us from winning. However, we fall in love with these systems and routines to the point of addiction where we prefer losing over change. We make it very hard or nearly impossible to change.
Fighting the change does not occur only on the smaller scale of personal level, it is unfortunately embedded in the culture of many organizations.
Organizations will start thinking of change only when it is matter of life or death; when it is the last resort where everything else failed.
There are two main ways organizations use to change: Attitudinal and Structural.
It is the typical way of change which most of organizations use. It is the use of motivational tools of incentives and punishment, or the use of behavioral changes of training and coaching to influence a change in the organization. Sometimes it is even only posters and memos which no one bother to read. You know what I’m talking about, it is a show if “we would like to change”, not an action of “we will change”.
It is basically trying to influence a behavior with a particular attitude to foster change.
It works at times, but it is highly reversible, and it requires a lot of efforts to maintain the change.
We can look at the structural change as a top to bottom change rather than the other way around. It starts from the finding the root cause of the problem in the system and ends with a self-sustaining cure for the injury. It is different than the usual Band-Aid we use to cover the wound (attitudinal).
It is usually accompanied by words like re-engineering and re-designing the processes to emphasize on the process improvement; irreversible and sustainable.
It requires commitment and dedication from the leadership, because such changes often lead to changes in the organizational structure and in the responsibilities and accountabilities of the team. In other cases, it may lead to changes in the personnel themselves.
The differences between attitudinal and structural change are obvious even to a blind eye. I can understand if organizations are seeking ease in the change, I can understand if they fear the risks involved in a structural change.
What I can’t understand are organizations observing the rapid change in everything around them and they are still decisive of remaining the same.
Nowadays change is a necessity for organizations to survive in highly competitive and changing markets. Stop for a second, look around you, learn where you need change, and embrace the change culture into your organization. When you sense the outcomes, you can thank me later.