When you decide to improve how your business runs, that means you have to make changes. Change is traumatic, scary, unsettling, uncomfortable, etc.  Whatever words you want to put on it, your employees will double it in their minds, and likely resist the discomfort as long as possible. In fact, they’ll resist it indefinitely unless the CEO make a clear statement of active support for the change. Clear means unequivocal, and active means you do it too (“do as I say, not as I do” is not allowed here). They will wait until they’re sure they’ve seen that.

Example: I have a client attempting to turn around a losing business. The business needs internal structure to guide the way they do business and they need more sales. My role is helping them create the infrastructure so that new business will be profitable. It will enable them to lower costs and stop reinventing the wheel when it comes to things like business promotion, measuring profitability of what they sell, lowering time spent in administrative trivia, lowering labor cost per dollar of revenue, etc. It means change for the better, but it means change. All say they want it, but discussions center around how to adapt process to incorporate the predominance of exceptions, rather than removing the exceptions. No one is convinced that the CEO intends with certainty to make the change. Here’s a clue, folks:

If you do what you’ve always done before, you’ll get what you always got before. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

I welcome your comments.

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