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  • Lasting change accomplished through the involvement of all employees

    Quote:  “Man’s mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains its’ original dimension.”  Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Throughout my years of coaching and mentoring, a question I am asked frequently is, “How do I get employees to adopt something new, in a lasting way?”

    The secret is ask don’t tell.  If you tell people what to do, the impact is fleeting.  If you ask for an opinion and involve people in the solution you will get two things.  First – the best solution possible since it is based on the ideas of many people.  Second – buy-in to the final solution.

    If you are new to change leadership it is important to remember that not every decision is the result of a democratic vote.  The leader needs to make decisions based on experience and knowledge.  Everyone will not always agree with the outcome, but they will respect the fact that they were involved in the process.

    The more monumental the change, the more effort will be required to garner support for the new direction.  The current way of doing business is familiar and comfortable.  A new way of doing business is unknown and gets people out of their comfort zone.  Adopting the new means abandoning the old; which is very difficult.

    One experience I remember vividly, from the mid 1990’s, is when I assumed responsibility for the travel and expense accounting group.  The accounting system was old and the team was still using CRTs.  The team did not want to use PCs.  I said that the world had moved to PCs and they needed to also.  The team unhappily accepted the training and new PCs.  However, about 7 to 8 months later, one by one they stopped in to see me to say, “Thanks for helping us move to the new technology.  Now that we have been using it, we love it and cannot believe we did not do it sooner.”

    In that example, I did ask but in the end had to implement an idea the team was not keen on.  However, I understood their reluctance, supported them during the transition and in the end it was a win-win situation.

    Do you have an example you want to share?

    Published on January 25, 2012 · Filed under: Finance; Tagged as: ,
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