Trying to change? start with who you are

It’s time to change. The world is moving at breakneck speed and we have to change, we have to pick up the pace, it’s no longer enough to be good, we have to be the best in our field, industry, and galaxy.  I hear a lot of that on

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the individual and organization level, and I see a lot of scurrying around trying to get that change we so desperately want and need.  After all when all that “change” is done we will all be better off right? Eh Maybe, Maybe not.

In my (slightly inexperienced) opinion, change doesn’t always work because we forget who we are.

It’s a smart person that understands who they are and what motivates them.  Let’s look at this on the individual level first.  How many of you have zealously signed up for the new gym, had a personal training session or taken a class and decided you were going to be THAT skinny and fit. Turns out it’s a lot of work huh? I’ve looked at the aerobics instructor and wanted to be that skinny.  Well that’s not going to happen to me for two reasons that are solely selfish on my part:

1. I do not want to spend that much time in the gym – getting to the gym three times a week and staying there longer then a 1/2 hour is rough. Spending more time than that ? Even tougher,  I’ve got way better things to do

2. I do not want to eat that healthy.  Becoming super fit and skinny means eating well all the time.  Love those McDonald’s French fries? Say good bye! Of course I want to eat healthy, but for some people (like myself) being that skinny would mean undertaking a draconian diet,  on top of that painful exercise regimen mentioned above…No thanks I’ll pass.

So did you notice the reasons I’m not going to become Aerobics instructor skinny are all related to me? I want to eat healthy but not all the time.  I want to work out as little as possible.  That’s all stuff that I willingly say “it’s not me, I have no interest in it.”

It’s the same thing we need to think about when we look at changing our organization.  Start by looking at your company and asking yourself these questions:

1. What is your business?

2. Who are your competitors?

3. Who works there?

4. What education and skill levels do employees have?

5. What is the most common job? (Accountant, truck driver, manager, etc;)

This is a short list but should be enough to get you thinking.  Once you understand your company (history, employees, competitive landscape), you need to gear your change efforts at something that will enhance your company.  Some of the most expensive attempts at changing company culture fall flat on their face because the decision makers forgot who their company really is.

If you run a waste management company, no one is going to get that excited about the new work from home policy because the bulk of your employees won’t be able to use that policy.  Instead, think of changes that will affect the majority of your employees in a positive way.  A few wins in this place builds credibility on your part and makes it easier to get the big dollar stuff implemented.

I know, I know, we all think that our company has to have the best work from home policy and that maybe we should start offering free food like Google or have a robot in satellite offices like Evernote, but ask yourself:

Does this help my largest group of employees?

Is this who my company is?

Don’t build a better place to work based off of where you want to work, build a better place to work by looking at your employees and what they need. Have the courage to say “great idea,  not my company.”


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