The Story Thus Far…
In this blog series, we’ve talked quite a bit about looking for those antiquated ways of thinking, business practices, and overall trappings of businesses that are stuck in unseen ruts that we’ve dubbed “sacred cows.” But identifying a problem is a far cry from actually doing something about it. As employees and managers, we have both the capacity to identify and affect change in these outdated habits or to remain firmly rooted in the comfort of poor but familiar thoughts and business practices. The good news is that we all have the capacity to change in regards to change whether it is realized as an individual or encouraged. Certainly by this point, if you’ve learned anything at all, is that the business that’s resistant to change gets left behind.
As an individual or a manager, you should be looking to improve upon yourself or to improve the performance of your staff as a whole. You can start by identifying change-driving traits in yourself and others and to what extent you believe you or your employees exemplify those traits. These traits include:
- Tolerance for Ambiguity
There is a multitude of tests available that measure these traits including the one given by Kriegel and Brandt in “Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers.” Looking even cursorily at these traits you can see that they would lend themselves to embracing change. Now is the time to do the dirty work.
Changing Outlooks on Change
Once you’ve identified the weaknesses you can work on fixing them. Now I’m not saying you need to lay off your workers or impose upon yourself some intense training regimen. You would be surprised just how easy it is to foster some of these traits in yourself and your employees. Take, for instance, Optimism. As a self-exercise or exercise for your employees, make a list of arguably bad things like losing your job. You or your colleagues can work on optimism by spinning these bad things into good things. How about another example? Let’s work on adaptability. For your next meeting create a game with clear rules. Begin playing and after 5 minutes amend the rules. Continue this pattern as the game progresses. Soon enough your colleagues will be able to quickly shift gears into this new gameplay. Truly, that’s all it takes to work on some of these traits.
The End Game
Seems easy right. A few games among coworkers and some self-exercises and you can become a person less change averse. What does that mean? Well, it means, as we’ve reiterated in this blog series, that you can introduce change with less push back, greater success, and less trepidation on the part of the company and it’s employees. This will allow for the dynamic workplace and business model that it takes to succeed in today’s global economy.