The only constant in life is change. How many times have you heard that sentiment being said? It happens a lot, most of the time it is being said by a person that is asking you to change something about the way that you live, work or even raise you children. Change can be scary, exciting, and tough. My experience is that it causes higher levels of anxiety and increases fear for the people changing. As human beings we are very comfortable in what is our status quo. We do not like to change and yet we are often faced with that quote of the only constant in life is change.
I would like to invite you on a journey with me as I move my organization through change and share with you the ups and downs associated with it. Hopefully along the way you will get to see the benefits of change within an organization as well as some of the pitfalls and gain some perspective when addressing change in your own life. For these articles, we will be focusing on change within a business organization. To start, we need to identify the reason for the change in the first place. Business change can be broken into three categories.
1.Process change: this is the change that deals with a shift in a process or the processes that the business undertakes daily.
2.Personnel change: this is the change of people that accomplish the processes. This is not limited to a person who is employed by your company but can also and more often point to people being asked to learn different and new ways to do the same processes that they have already been doing.
3.Culture change: this change is one where the culture of a business is shifted from one type of mindset to another mindset depending on the business and the reason for the change.
Once the reason for the change has been introduced, it is more than likely that at least one—but probably all three categories—will need to be included in the change model that may be coming down the pipe. Failure to consider these three categories wholly in the change that will take place can be a very dangerous oversight and ultimately it can cost the company money and it could hurt the customer as well.
Identifying the reason for the change is perhaps the most important part of the journey. For example, as a business owner or employee of a business the first and most important part of operating your business is its health. I think over the last year we have learned a lot in the marketplace about health and how health affects not only people but also businesses. How healthy is your business? A lot of the time feelings are used to describe health. There have been people that may have felt healthy and then for some unknown reason died. Businesses are the same way. Just because it feels good doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good.
In this series, we are embracing a change due to organizational health. Not that the organization is dying or anything that dramatic, but the organization is growing at a rate that may not be healthy for all people involved. As a business owner, my chief responsibility is to the care and happiness of both my customers and equally my employees. Customers are very well trained at sharing their health with you. Employees are not as well trained and often do not feel that they have as much of a voice in discussing their health. My organization has grown a lot, and has potential for more growth, but not at the cost of our customers or our employees. Thus, we have to change. I am happy to share with all of you this process of change and how it affects all the categories that I mentioned earlier on. I plan to share this with you in six parts. They are as follows: Change for Change’s Sake; Planning for Change; Components of Change; Communicating Change; Lining up the Ducks; Executing the Change. This journey will be one of excitement as well as one of sheer terror. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I am enjoying going through it and sharing it with my people.