Nobody Likes Change!

Simon Davey from Simon Davey Consulting writes:


Nobody likes change is a widely spread consensus and generalisation which people believe. If you repeat something enough times it then becomes believable and is assumed as fact. That fact is then accepted as the truth. Which becomes a valid excuse for people to use.

I disagree with the statement that nobody likes change.

Change is organic and subconscious. We make multiple changes every day. Changes are made because we chose to make them. The changes are accepted as we are involved in the decision making process. The change benefits us. We like change.

Social media and technology has driven change at an alarming rate. We want to try the latest restaurant/bar, get the hottest ticket in town, try the latest Tik Tok dance or hack and we upgrade our tech to ensure that we receive these opportunities to change.

In the last three years the world has changed. More importantly we have changed with it. People are adaptable to most things. We are accepting of change. Especially in our personal life. Which dispels the myth “Nobody likes change.”

What people do not like is change forced upon them.

We all assert some form of control in our lives. We will happily create a comfort zone to keep us safe and in control. When our control is challenged we fight it, or we run from it. The fight or flight response.

Forced change is a challenge to our comfort zone. It is a change that we have had no part in the decision making process or we do not see the benefit of the change. Therefore we want to fight the change.

Forced change is always a challenge in business. Two of the biggest forced changes that negatively impact the business are top down change or management change.

Top down change is generally focussed on improving business performance. Management change is when there has been a change in personnel.

In my experience these changes are not effective if forced. Decisions are made without knowledge/facts or because someone’s status is greater than those impacted by the change.

They lack effectiveness simply because those impacted by the changes are very rarely consulted. Non subject matter experts do not understand the process as well as a subject matter expert. Changes for changes sake very rarely work. The three worst words in change are Just do it, sorry Nike.

Ninety percent of planned changes do not happen. Eighty percent of those planned changes did not happen because the right people were not involved. Listen to your people. They are the greatest asset in your business.

Effective communication is imperative to ensure a positive culture of change within your business. Engage the people impacted by the change to drive the change. If someone is involved in the decision making process and they see the benefits. They will accept the change as it is within their control.

Empowering your employees with ownership to make decisions and implement change will improve their motivation. A motivated employee is up to 30% more productive than a disengaged employee.

Change is effective, it has to be the right change.

We do like change, do not let anyone tell you otherwise.