By: Ed Grasing
Nothing seems to make people more uncomfortable than change, especially in a professional environment. Management teams, tenured employees, even junior staff members all seem to be resistant to things changing around them. It is really human nature; as familiarity breeds comfort, comfort breeds confidence, and theoretically... confidence should lead to optimal performance.
But what if it does not?
Or worse, what if you are confident in a process that is inefficient or outdated? If you do not at least have an eye towards improving the way you do things, you are not giving yourself the opportunity to grow.
Sometimes you have to change because your competitors are nipping at your heels. Look at what Facebook did to MySpace or what Apple has done to RIM; just because you are out in front, does not mean anything. Your competitors are working hard at displacing you, so you have to press yourself and your organization to be innovative in any way you can.
While competitors can be scary, sometimes your entire industry changes on you, and if you do not embrace it, you can easily go from market leader to statistic... quickly. Remember Xerox? How about Eastman Kodak? Both companies were widely considered to be the gold standard, and now they are each desperately trying to live to see tomorrow.
The best time to initiate change is when things are going well, everyone is happy and nobody wants the party to end. That way, good new ideas are not subjected to the level of scrutiny they would be in the leaner times. As a manager, I want to see my people thinking about how they are going to keep performing better, and not resting on their laurels or reputation.
What are the biggest changes you have ever been part of driving? We are very interested in hearing your stories, and if you send us a good one, we will share it with the entire eHire ecosystem (giving you full credit, of course).