It used to be said that death and taxes were the only constants but over recent years, a third constant, Change, seems to have crept into the equation.
Constant change we are told is the “new normal” and any organisation, teams and/or individual who do not regularly improve, adapt, and reinvent themselves (i.e. change constantly) is apparently encouraging their own demise. However, introducing change (new systems, new structures, new culture, new ways of working, new processes, new strategy, indeed new anything!) into the comfortable (albeit non performing or outdated) status quo, is fraught with significant challenges which is why a reported 70% of change projects fail.
Change Management consultants (e.g. Change Programme Managers; Business Transformation practitioners etc) are external resources that specialise in supporting and enabling organisations, teams and individuals to implement structured and planned changes so as to realise the desired benefits from the changes.
However, are external Change Management Consultants really necessary? Here are 5 reasons why you should ignore Change Management Consultants and hold back change.
1. Analyse the situation yourself – If it ain’t broke, don’t tamper with it!
Do not allow yourself to believe the hype. If you have a winning formula that has worked for years and years, ask yourself – why would you want to change it? Once you are successful, you will continue to be successful won’t you? What is the compelling urgency to change? Surely it is up to others to emulate you isn’t it? A change management consultancy will tell you that you do need to change in order to stay fresh and competitive and relevant …but then they would. I would suggest that you come to your own conclusions. See related blog “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”
2. Be clear on your objective – Make more money doing exactly what you are doing.
If your objective is to stay as you are, stay in the same job, continue to make money in the way that you have always, then why wouldn’t you be successful? Change management are for people who want to transform themselves into something else or someone else other than they are currently. If you do the same thing that you have always done, in the same company, and you deliver the same level of service to your customers, then change has no business with you. Your objective is not to change but to fiercely retain the status quo and continue to be successful. Your customers will never change, the business environment will never change and therefore neither should you. Change management consultancies will have you believe that staying still in today’ s environment is not an option and that you should make changes to your processes, structures, people, services, products etc. just to survive. They are wrong! Change is for other people.
See related blog – The problem with Change Management
See related blog – Change ? What Change?
3. If you must introduce a change – Just do it!
Change management consultants will tell you to involve as many people as possible – people with the relevant position, expertise, skills and leadership power within your organisation in the design and communication of your change vision so as to get buy-in preparing for the change and subsequent delivery. They will also tell you that involving external resources such as them makes it easier and more palatable for people to take notice that things really need to change. Ignore them – recruiting a coalition of change agents and change leaders takes too much time and is completely unnecessary. It is only necessary if you anticipate resistance to the changes that you want introduce…and this only happens in rare cases. There will be no resistance in your team or organisation because you know that everyone will do exactly as you tell them, when you tell them…and they will enjoy doing it too!
See related blog: Why sensitive change management can’t be ignored – the London black cabs story
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4. Resist a proliferation of Communication
Change management consultancies love to hammer on the importance of Communications, Communications, Communications to the successful implementation of any change. This, like no. 3 above, is another irrelevant advice. Once you make up your mind on what you need to change in your organisation, just send out an email and tell your people period. Isn’t that what email’s where invented for? A proliferation of communication exercises, across many channels, many media and including face to face only gives people excuses not to do some work and worse, provides them with ample opportunities to ask unnecessary questions and exercise challenges to your decision. Avoid this at all costs…. If your people already have an excellent habit of doing as they are told, guard this fiercely; If they haven’t yet acquired this habit, then encouraging them to communicate profusely can only make things worse and therefore is unwise.
See related blog: Change management – How we unknowingly sabotage our chances of success
5. Unhealthy obsession with obstacles
Management consultancies have an unhealthy obsession with anticipating and planning for obstacles. They will for example tell you that in addition to the impact of your change initiative on your staff, there are also other interrelated elements within your organisations which needs to be considered as a change in one area could have an adverse effect on the other and therefore present an obstacle to the realisation of your benefits. They will have a suitcase of change management toolkits to show you that a successful implementation of change needs to be structured. Again ignore them. Nothing in your business is interrelated. If you introduce a new change in one area, it will have no bearing on another department or function or process and there will be no need to train or reskill people. Your staff (and your suppliers and customers) will just pick up the necessary skills they need as they work…and if they don’t, they can leave.
See related blog – £19billion : The cost of bad management in the UK
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If all the above proves a bit confusing or stressful, why not relax with the thoughts of your next holiday. But beware, for as the video below shows, change seems to be permeating into some great holiday destinations too 🙂 !