A couple of weeks ago we featured a quote by Federal Mediator George Albu, “There are two types of businesses: those that change and those that die.” This week, we want to offer some thoughts about dealing with change
Change is never easy, particularly if we feel it is forced on us. As someone once said, “The problem with change is that it’s not what it used to be.” In the past, we could deal with change in a more controlled way. We could study a problem, slowly and deliberately work to find a change that could help, then implement it. Afterwards, we could leave things alone for a while.
Today, change never lets up. As soon as we implement something new, the forces that drive change keep coming. We need to continually look for ways to improve our work systems and make change.
I heard another speaker this week relate change to technology. She noted that after the invention of the telephone, it took over 70 years before 75% of people owned one. Another source confirms this, as it took over 80 years from the patenting of the telephone before the 50 millionth phone was installed in the united States.
Compare that with the speed at which the cell phone was accepted. Some reports indicate there are now more cell phones in the U.S. than people. The speed at which other technology has become broadly accepted has also increased dramatically, from home computers to tablets. Changes in other areas of our lives have been just as dramatic,
We cannot afford to ignore the impact of change on our work. Even if we are the best in the world at what we do, change can render our product or service useless. There are many examples of products (CRT televisions, cassette tapes, bias-ply tires) and companies (such as Kodak, Polaroid, or many electronics companies) that were once popular but lost out when they did not keep up with change.
At CALMC, we believe the most important tools for dealing with change are already present in your organization, the employees. Engaged employees will have ideas on how to improve your workplace. Given information about possible trends and the forces driving change in your organization, they will be able to develop innovative ways to keep ahead of the competition and make productive systemic change that will benefit the workplace.
Effectively dealing with change can keep your company from becoming irrelevant and disappearing completely. Employee engagement can help determine changes necessary to improve productivity and deal with competition as well as develop strategies for their implementation. For help in getting the most from employee engagement, contact CALMC.