Monday, March 27, 2006

why a business resists change

More of the same is not the solution sleeping in your operations. What really needs to be awakened? Difficult, dutiful, disruptive change.

Your business is declining? Your staff is slipping into bad morale? You're worrying about the future?

Then the stupidest thing you can possibly do is ramp up what has been ineffectual. To make everyone worker longer and harder is the kiss of death. You're killing your business with such desperate and barbaric, non-revolutionary acts.

You've read books, talked with experts, attended seminars, networked with colleagues, schmoozed with peers. You know all the right ideas. You get excited talking about what you want to do. But you don't prioritize the necessary modifications.

Your problem is that you're paralyzed by fear. Fear of staff reprisals. Fear of risk. Fear of upsetting "indispensable" staff. Fear of being misunderstood and mocked. Fear of falling flat on your face, expensively. Fear of the relentless litany of naysayers, who secretly envy your plans and wish for your doom.

You speak of valuing customer input, providing added value, letting customers determine your strategy, then you continue to do most things the exact same way you always have.

You survey customers. You do a special promotion. You create a buzz. You get some publicity. Then you slink back into the cesspool of non-innovation. And you look like an idiot to your employees, peers, and the public. Eventually, your business dies with all its good intentions and sincere desires rotting alongside the outmoded traditions and status quo.

Why does a business practice such fatal self-deception, commit such tomfoolery?

A business will contemplate change, agree with change, and speak loudly of change, and still not change in structure, policy, or practices. A new coat of paint on a decaying fence is just a superficial gimmick. Asking customers what they really want, then allowing the sales force to treat customers like cash cows is no improvement.

Your half-hearted show of "exciting new features" and "better customer relations" just makes things worse.

Why is this the norm for businesses?

Because the CEO and executive staff hate to admit that they're wrong, stupid, old fashioned, greedy, and insincere.

Because they want to change customer perceptions, rather than corporate culture.

Because they're afraid their reliable personnel, who are actually mediocre games-players, will be offended at any disruption of routine and comfort zones.

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