Principle Six: Promote and Maintain a Positive Response to Change is directly related to Principle One: Stay in Business and Principle Two: Treat All Individuals with Dignity and Respect. As discussed in Principle One, someone will put you out of business. The only question that needs to be answered is will it be you or someone else. The key to survival is adapting to an ever-changing environment. Embracing change is the only effective way to adapt. Change requires individuals to move out of their comfort zones and accept new methods of doing business. Accepting this fact, companies need to consider the personal impacts on individuals involved in changes.
The articles in this section address the need for and implications of changes in the organization.
Overview Chapter 2.07: Principle Six
The articles in this chapter discuss issues that relate to the importance of developing a company-wide culture of expecting and embracing the concept that change is constant and is required for company growth and even survival.
Introduction to Principle Six
Startups and small companies are in a constant state of change as their product plans mature and customer traction increases. The need to implement processes in order to scale, resolve customer support issues, and bring new employees up to speed simply demand changes. In many instances, these changes take people out of their comfort zone. Openly discussing the fact that change is constant and needs to be embraced by everyone is critical to the company’s ongoing success.
No Time to Rest
The pace of business seems to be ever increasing, placing more pressure on everyone. Changes always seem to disrupt daily activities. Although there may be obvious long-term benefits, individuals with their daily pressures may feel that they simply do not have time to change. Acknowledging this situation and responding accordingly will result in a smoother transition that is more readily embraced throughout the organization.
Five Number One Priorities
Reprioritization of activities in response to an ever-changing business environment is a reality in today’s fast moving, highly competitive environment. Unfortunately, it is quite common to develop plans to address the newest and seemingly most critical issue without adequately considering other issues that were already on the top priority list. The result can be the establishment of five or more Number One priorities which really equates to no priorities at all.
It's Not Fun Anymore
Virtually all of us talk about the “good old days” and wish we could go back in time. It is common to be apprehensive about changes; there is always some level of fear of the unknown. In growing companies in particular, change is constant especially when organizational additions and restructuring occurs. It is easy to fall into the trap of looking for the worst and always discovering something to fulfill those negative feelings. Continually discussing the need to embrace change is critical in maintaining a healthy, positive environment.
Change Needs Constant Attention
To maintain any activity, energy must constantly be expended to keep up its momentum. Resistance is always present and it cannot be stopped, but it can be overcome with the correct level of attention. Changing activities, no matter how enthusiastically supported initially, rarely are successful without constant attention.
Rumors, Fridays, and Trust
Rumors are a fact of life. Left unaddressed, they can grow almost without bound. Seldom will the actual rumored event, if it happens at all, be as good or as bad as speculated. When changes are contemplated, speed is of the essence to minimize the time for rumors to start and spread. Most people are remarkably resilient if they have the opportunity to develop a clear understanding and trust the information provided to them.