Organizational Change: The 2 Biggest Mistakes Your Business is Making

The paradox of success is the need for change.  Not just adaptive change but transformational change.  Think about it. Businesses who are successful are always innovating – expanding their services, hiring people and developing different processes.  However, the majority of us are creatures of habit.  What we expand upon is oftentimes what we’ve already done and what has proven to be successful.  We don’t adapt.  We just add more layers.

Success requires adaptation to meet the changing needs of customers and the marketplace. If you want to be successful, embrace change. Here are some things to keep in mind as you pursue organizational change. 

Applying Old Principles to Changing Situations

A common scenario we face is the reapplication of old practices, values and vision, when implementing organizational change.  An example of this is the onboarding of new people – whether it be a board member, CEO, manager or employee.  Especially when it comes to leadership, businesses often choose the safe option. Organizations have a tendency to pick the candidate who best aligns with their current culture, rather than a leader who aligns with the culture they want going forward. This is not change, or at least transformative change. 

A successful company needs to consistently think from a transformational standpoint. Throwing on a new coat of paint doesn’t transform a company.  To transform means that people and processes have to adapt and do things differently to meet changing customer needs and the new requirements in the marketplace. 

Reacting to Organizational Change

Unfortunately, as leaders, we sometimes wait until our organizations become dysfunctional before we take action.  More often than not, it’s because the pain of the dysfunction has gotten too great that we are obligated to take action.  Not because we want to, but now, we have to.  Even then, however, we only make slight modifications so that we don’t have to develop new habits to address the issue.

The fear of change is rampant in any organization.  This is driven by the underlying fear that we all have when stepping into the unknown.  We stubbornly cling to what we’ve always known and done, even if it doesn’t work anymore.  Thus, when we are forced to do things differently because the dysfunction, stress and pain in our organization has become too intolerable, we kick and scream our way through the whole process.

This fear of change and the unknown, locks up companies and diminishes the ability to adapt swiftly to an ever-changing marketplace.  Successful companies, on the other hand, know that continuous transformation is necessary.  This does not mean that the company throws out its values or value proposition.  This means that the company consistently adapts and transforms its processes and how people work together to meet the marketplace.

Organizations need to understand that what was functional under past success does not automatically work with growth.  In fact, old methodologies can only be adapted for so long before a business implodes.  Truly successful companies adapt everything they do to change modality.  They embrace the challenges of the organizational change process and accept change as a part of their formula for success.

If you are looking to implement organizational change and don’t know where to start, connect with our team. With over 30 years of experience, we are your partner in change management, organizational development and leadership training. We have partnered with hundreds of organizations, not only in Wisconsin, but throughout the United States and Canada to assist them with their organizational change initiatives. Let’s connect and see how we can help you unlock your organization’s potential.