Why change doesn’t always work

Change that worksOne of the things I often notice when I am facilitating strategic planning programs for my clients is the wide range of attitudes to change portrayed by different business leaders in the room.

For some people the prospect of change is exciting and for others change is exhausting or even daunting.

It’s not unusual to find some participants with a gung-ho “any change is a good change” attitude literally facing off across the room against others with a more resistant “it’ll never work – anything but change” attitude.

And it’s true – change doesn’t always work!

But without change there is nothing.  As a strategic planning facilitator, ensuring that the changes your organisation embarks on not only work but yield positive results, is fundamental for me.

Whatever the attitudes strategic planning participants display, it is inevitable that some changes will arise from any strategic planning program.  So you can imagine I tend to spend quite a bit of time thinking about things like why change doesn’t always work.

Recently I joined Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge as part of my own continuing professional development and today I thought I might share with you some of Dean’s ideas about change and how to make it work.  I think you will find they offer a helpful perspective on why change doesn’t always work and why I am always wary of both the gung-ho “any change is a good change” people and the “anything but change” people.

We all know that change is inevitable.

In fact, everything is constantly changing.  Dean describes it as: “Change is automatic, like the weather.”

“However,” he goes on to say “PROGRESS is not automatic.  We have to take control and take action to see real progress.”

And this, it seems to me, is what lies at the root of the problems for the “anything but change” people.  When you feel like you have no control, or you adopt a passively resistant approach to change and implementing strategic planning outcomes, you will block progress even if you can’t delay change.  And so of course in this situation, change doesn’t work.

But it’s also a problem for the “any change is a good change” people .  Unless your proposed changes are aligned with well considered strategic objectives they will not yield real progress.  In fact they will become another example of change that didn’t work…

To achieve positive results with organisational change requires a process that brings people on board with the changes willingly, that develops understanding as to why the changes are important, what the benefits will be and how they will be shared, and that creates clarity about exactly what actions will foster the changes and who will take those actions.  Get this right and you will find change works!

So while change doesn’t always work, so long as your strategic planning process is well facilitated you can take control of the change process and be confident you will see real progress towards your desired results – and ultimately achieve true change that works!

Business in a Social Context

We all find it easy to avoid risks which are clearly visible, and everyone takes more care moving into uncharted territory. But when your old environment is changing slowly and subtly, you may need ‘new eyes’ to see the risks and opportunities.

The context in which business operates is changing slowly and subtly, creating a whole new set of risks for the unwary. Profit is no longer the only bottom line. Social and environmental bottom lines are becoming established, and whether you are measuring or reporting on them, you are being assessed against them.

It has been reported that Australians hold stronger views about corporate social responsibility and behaviour than people in any other country in the world. According to David Uren, more than half of all Australians have actually punished a company in some way for its actions. For organisations with their ‘eyes wide shut’ this change in community expectation will represent a significant risk to their performance.

If you have the ‘new eyes’ to see opportunities in this changed expectation, you can become the leader in your field.

“The real magic of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Marcel Proust

Whether you like it or not, you are doing business in a social context. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on doing business in a social context.

I'm eager to hear your comments...

Business Blogging – Internet marketing tips – part 2

Blogging is a huge phenomenon on the Internet today but what about business blogging?  People all around the world have blogs, but can blogging be beneficial to your business?

Online Marketing Tips

Yes, it can!

If you build up a following of people who read your business blog on a regular basis, you and your business can gain allies, partnerships and referrals – as well as more clients or customers. As readers get to know and trust in you, they are far more likely to buy from you and refer others.

Business Blogging Works

 

“Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors than those that don’t.”

– Hubspot, State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, 2010

 

Business blogging can be used to help keep your existing clients up to date with your services or new products you are offering, as well as to answer their questions and offer support or customer service.  A good business blog can mean your prospective clients and customers find the answers to their questions without having to call you – saving both your and your prospects time.

 

Avoid making your business blogging too personal. Your customers do not want to read about the new car or kitten you just got.

Instead, use your business blogging to share the resources you know of that deal with your specific business area and talk about your dealings with those resources and how you rate them. Don’t be afraid to make recommendations of other business products and services that might interest your customers, as well as offering updates on your own products and services.

Business blogging can be used to announce freebies, contests or even coupons that you or other companies are offering. Write an informative column with tips and information that others can put to use in their own businesses and you will attract loyal clients who want to do business with you.

Try to keep your business blog on track. Readers will come to expect and like your blog entries, so don’t steer too far away from what they like.

Update your entries regularly to avoid losing readers – weekly is the best frequency, unless you have the time to do it multiple times every day. If you have the same old stuff on your business blog for weeks at a time, then people won’t bother coming around to read it anymore.

When you sit down to write a new entry, write an extra one for the times when you are rushed, away on holidays, or ill. You can save it as a draft or keep in a folder on your computer so you are able to quickly copy and paste the pre-written blog entry in just a couple of minutes.

If your business blog is not already a part of your website, don’t forget to include the link to your blog on your website.  And remember to promote your business blog in your email signature, on your business card, and in all your other marketing materials. To gain a following of readers, you have to advertise.

When KMG Consulting builds your business website we can include your business blog as an integral part of your website. So, we can show you how to schedule your blog entries in advance so they continue to appear when you are away on holidays.   Contact us today for more details about how to use business blogging in your web marketing.

See Part 1 in this series of Internet Marketing Tips.

And remember, business blogging really should be an integral part of your web marketing strategy.

I'm eager to hear your comments...