The Enemies of Change

What are the Enemies of Change?

The world of work has changed significantly due to the Pandemic and Leaders continue to deal with unpredictable times.

As we continue to experience challenges and move toward new target operating models, digital transformation, a more permanent flexible or hybrid workforce, our leaders continue to be stretched and exposed.  Because change brings instability and fear to many.  Some people simply do not readily believe in new things until they have had a tried and tested experience of them.

More than ever, effective leadership is required the grit and vision to enable your business to navigate these uncertain waters. Leaders need to be adaptable and savvy to deal with factors that can be ‘the enemies of change!’

Why change fails

There are many factors that cause change efforts to fail:

  • An ineffective process
  • We start telling instead of listening
  • Lack of stakeholder support
  • Ineffective communication
  • Lack of trust
  • Poor timing, and so on

Ultimately, however, change efforts fail because of poor leadership. Failure often begins with an inability to convince others as to why change is necessary and to outline the benefits to the individual of getting behind the transformation. Watch the video

Lack of shared vision and commitment

But, perhaps the most crippling change failure is when your colleagues scupper planned transformation.

It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things, because the innovator has for enemies, all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.   Niccolo Machiavelli – The Prince

Best Practice

Begin by listening to and answering the most important question of your colleagues at the top:  WIIFM – what’s in it for me.  No matter how objective your colleagues may say they are – there is always an element of of self preservation present – especially if they had had it good for some time.

Lay out the shared vision for change and ask for their thoughts, their commitment to the plan and how they will ensure the change is successful.  Check out what shared resources you need and discuss the shared risks.

Many a change programme that has been paid lip service to,  has gone on to be scuppered and things go right back to how they have always been.  It suits the old guard who don’t see the benefit or need for change – or simply don’t want to.

Tenacious Transformation

If you can’t agree, then go back to the drawing board until you can. The worst thing you can do is to press on with plans if you don’t have the whole top team aboard! When this happens, boy do you need tenacity!

With this caution in mind, now maybe exactly the right time to build up a bank of necessary transformation skills. Let’s face it, you are going to require laser focus agility and adaptability to meet the ever changing environment we must currently operate in.

Smart Leaders who develop transformation skills that make change stick and have a toolkit of tried and tested techniques, are the ones who will manage successful change.

If this resonates with you, and you are planning change this autumn.  Take the plunge now – ask about our Smart Change Management Programme that equips Leaders with best practice transformation skills. It’s a blockbuster of a programme.

Then you can press on!