The Challenge of Change: How To Rise Above the Loudest Voice

The Challenge of Change: How To Rise Above the Loudest Voice

Why is change so hard?

When discussing change, the loudest voice in the room (not to be confused with the most rational or most correct voice) typically belongs to someone who will be adversely impacted by the change. They want to make sure that everyone shares their view on resisting the change. They want not changing to be the predominant mindset among the group. It might be, but it also frequently isn’t.

Which brings me to the second reason change is hard. Change means moving to something new and uncertain. The people who stand to gain the most from the change generally aren’t confident they will. So they sit quietly by, waiting to make sure things do go well. Even if they are cautiously optimistic about the change, their passion for an unknown won’t match that of someone who thinks they stand to lose something through that change.

the_business_of_change_3In business, these things are dangerous. You have to evolve in business. Rejecting change signals an obliviousness to the changing world around us. But that loud adverse voice is always there, arguing from a place of fear.

It takes real guts and courage to stand up in the face of uncertainty and disagreement to say, “I know some of you think this isn’t ‘who we are’ and you may be right, but our market is changing and we need to change with it.”

change_in_business_3I recently blogged on the difference between businesses that are for-profit vs. advocating a cause vs. a hobby. In that post, I described for-profit businesses’ sense of purpose as follows:

“Let’s serve our customers by understanding the market we operate in and by communicating with them in a way that maximizes my top line and profits.”

If you listen to the “no change” voice when the market is obviously moving, then you are moving further towards being a hobby or cause-focused business (both of which put sales and profits on the back burner).

take_a_risk_in_business_3Change is hard. Particularly in a group. Even more so when the group is not made of strangers, but is a franchise family with layers of relationships. However, change is essential. Don’t be afraid to be that voice in the corner that advocates change at — or even before — its time.

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