…and conquer the mountain of change
Have you ever thought about how easy it is to buy something once you’ve identified what you need and all that is left is the choice between different alternatives? This is when a salesperson’s expertise comes into use. His or her detailed knowledge helps you to find the perfect “match” between the available options and your needs.
And then there are situations where you haven’t pinned your need down but it’s still there. What is your level of readiness to buy something you didn’t even know you needed a moment ago? Would you dig your card out of your wallet immediately or would you need time to think on it – or even be persuaded?
Every manager who’s observed the need for change will surely ask himself the question: “How can I keep my rows even when something new happens?”. Change and the advantages it brings always conceals an assumption: by acting differently in the future some in-house process will experience a change for the better.
That said, a promise for improvement is still a long way from a result. You need to establish internally the pain point and extent of the need for change as well as who will be affected. Who needs to make a positive purchasing decision? Change can also be implemented from the outside but if the people don’t “buy” the idea of something new the set goals might not be reached.
How can I keep my rows even when something new happens?
A good example on the change front is the incorporation of electronic tools as part of the daily life of the organization. When adopting such tools the aim is almost without exception to smoothen, systematize and accelerate certain repetitive processes. For example, CRM apps make customer relationship management more efficient and communication channels for internal use enable the rapid exchange of information inside the organization.
The adoption of such tools in itself does not require great efforts – unless the aim is integration into existing systems – but the hardest work needs to be done at the grassroots level. How ready are the employees for change when a new tool is introduced? At what stage should users be informed of the upcoming change? Who’s responsible for the launch and its success?
The last of these challenges in particular demands deep familiarity with the change as the role of internal selling is crucial here. It is important to be aware of the quality, style and meaning of the communication: what is being communicated and to whom? What are the advantages users gain when adopting the new tool? What is the organization’s support in the change process?
Leading by example gets the group moving towards the new
By weighing these questions and implementing a good change strategy you can go far but the company still needs to find those in-house troops who can praise the change. These are proud pioneers who show the way to followers, realists and true naysayers. The people who can get excited and excite others in the face of future changes. Leading by example gets the group moving towards the new. The most important matter is for someone to be selling the change right until the purchase decision has been made and the imaginary card comes out of the wallet.
Every group that takes a little longer to adapt to the change should also be heard. What are they afraid of? What makes them unsure in the face of change? Nobody wants to show weakness therefore recognizing these emotions of fear in the workplace demands tact from the people leading the change. Making change visible also lowers the threshold and the power of example helps people adapt to the new situation. The change becomes concrete.
However, it is still important to observe when giving counter-arguments to the most trenchant anti-change employee no longer adds anything new to the discussion. The most important thing is that the main message has been received and registered. Opponents also have the right to their opinion.
A change always differs from the norm until it becomes an everyday part of working. Everyone masters the change in his or her own way and in-house sellers can be the most effective sparring partners – the company’s own personal trainers – who are there to demand one more push when people’s muscles are already really worn-out.
A refusal to give up added to the ability to listen, adapt and change makes a successful change possible. Or do you think that when Steve Jobs lost his power struggle in 1982 he just said: “Fine, I give up!”?
Is your company facing a change? How do you intend to handle any level of resistance in your organization? Who is part of your in-house troops that will hail for the change and cover your back when needed?