Organizational Change: How to Flip Your Thinking

calendar July 24, 2018

Perhaps you made it where you are today by doing certain things in a certain way, then replicating those same processes over and over again. Maybe “We’ve always done it this way!” is your absolute favorite saying in the world. If so, you’re not alone.

But no matter what kind of organization you’re running, you cannot afford to assume the current model is sustainable.

And no great leader can afford to believe that replicating processes is what’s going to take them into the future.

Learning to embrace change

Many business owners and leaders are terrified of changing their processes and giving up their old ways, afraid of what might happen (or not happen) next.

But what if we flipped our thinking?

First, let’s take a look at some common organizational changes from a fear-based perspective:

Hiring more people

  • What if the new hires don’t work out?
  • What if training them takes up too much time and energy?
  • What if the rest of the team slacks off?

Firing underperformers

  • What if they get mad or make a scene?
  • What if he/she can’t find another job?
  • What if I make someone cry?

Upgrading to new technology

  • What if it doesn’t work?
  • What if my team can’t figure it out?
  • What if something new comes along that’s even better?

Changing strategy or direction

  • What if my team doesn’t buy in?
  • What if our shareholders get upset?
  • What if our customers don’t like it?
  • What if we lose people?

Investing in growth

  • What if we spend a lot of money and don’t get a huge ROI?
  • What if we don’t grow as fast as projected?
  • What if we take on too much and have to backtrack?

Trying new things in general

  • What if we’re wrong?
  • What if things don’t go perfectly smoothly?
  • What if people complain or quit?

These may all be valid concerns, but the truth of the matter is, you can literally “What if…” yourself to death.

The good news is that you can also “What if…” yourself back to life.

Now let’s take a second look

Go ahead... Flip that thinking!

Now let’s look at these very same issues from a less risk-adverse point of view:

Hiring new people

  • What if we find some people who are super excited about what we’re doing and their energy spreads to the rest of the team?
  • What if our current staff feels less overworked and can actually complete their tasks on a regular basis?
  • What if we start hiring people who share our values and fit perfectly into our culture?

Firing underperformers

  • What if they are secretly relieved to be given permission to move on?
  • What if we helped them understand why they weren’t a good fit and, in doing so, empowered them to find something better?
  • What if productivity and morale increase now that people are no longer stuck in positions that make them unhappy?

Upgrading to new technology

  • What if it does work? What if our team saves huge amounts of time and frustration?
  • What if it makes life easier for our employees?
  • What if something else comes along that has the power to help us even more?

Changing strategy or direction

  • What if my team knows things aren’t working and is waiting for me to take charge?
  • What if our stakeholders are craving bold leadership?
  • What if we improve our brand and culture and end up with happier employees and a bunch of new customers?

Investing in growth

  • What if we put our money where our mouth is and prove to our employees that we value them and their hard work?
  • What if we end up growing faster than projected?
  • What if our investment is worth every penny? And then some?

Trying new things in general

· What if we don’t?

Change your thinking, change your business

Being in business is not for those who are afraid to make difficult decisions and transformations. The next time you feel that old familiar urge to stay the same, put on your adventure glasses and try looking at things from a new point of view.

Take your “What if…” questions in a new direction. Focus on the amazing things that could happen instead of the scary things that could happen.

Because the scariest thing of all is to be stuck in the exact same spot, while everyone else passes you by.


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