Businesses need to implement change when their environment demands it, but why make that change if the environment doesn’t demand it? Why inflict that pain if it is not required?
A company periodically needs to shake itself up, regardless of the competitive landscape. Even if the external environment is not changing in ways that demand a response, the internal environment probably is.
Most companies and businesses are organised around a single strong point — be it function, product, geography, or market. The problem with this is that communication and collaboration tend to become trapped in functional, product, geographic, or marketing. As a result, a functionally organised company, for instance, may be slow to recognise product opportunities, while a product-oriented company may find itself duplicating work. This also applies to businesses that have a very strong geographic attachment. Often, this dependency on location, can limit the growth of the business in the longer term.
‘Change’ is a great tool to bring people out of their comfort zone, which we all need every now and them. However, if it becomes too uncomfortable, and you leave people out of their comfort zone for too long, businesses run the risk of those people moving to another zone. A zone that is more comfortable than the one they were in.
A basic need of all people is certainty. Certainty in both their personal and professional lives. People must have a level of certainty that is comfortable for them. This level of comfort varies greatly from person to person, and if not observed and managed correctly can be the cause of people to move on with little or no obvious reason to anyone but themselves.
Cost of Change
What is the cost of change? Any change is implemented with the idea of ‘improving’ something. Now that something could be a product, process or procedure. But the overall outcome is generally the same. Take something that is good, and make it better. But, as I asked before, what is the cost of this change? And is this cost often known prior to the changes being made? Or are they only calculated after the fact, and normally when it is too late to do anything about it.