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Leaders, Get Honest About What's Not Going to Change

I don’t need to tell you how quickly and incessantly change is happening in organizations today. You already know that. And you also already know that with each change initiative comes questions, lots of them. Like, what are we doing? What should we be doing differently? Do we have the right people in place? How do we get from point D to point M? All very relevant. But honestly, these questions have become comfortable to ask. Even if an answer can’t be provided immediately, they’ve become standard questions for leaders concerned with the performance and profitability of their organizations.

However, if you want to give your change initiative a fighting chance, then ask the uncomfortable question…what’s not going to change here? That's right. What aren’t you willing to change even it it compromises the results you want to see? Let me ask that again…what aren’t you willing to change even if it compromises the results you want to see? More specifically, what about your culture, processes, and/or people practices are you not willing to address? And then ask yourself why not?

Tough question, but do your best to answer it. Because as change agents, if we design a change plan that increases accountability and collaboration but you choose to only implement the part of the plan that comes with the least amount of resistance, while avoiding the part of the plan that directly impacts the problem, then we’ve not accomplished much. Understand that every time you make the decision to not address the tougher issues, you waste time and money, but more importantly, your employees who actually may be ready for transformation, are left with a “we knew things wouldn’t change” attitude, and will be less willing the next time you decide to grow.

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