Peter Jones

Develop A Great Team

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5.4 | Develop a culture of change

Managing Change

The world around us is constantly changing and so are the forces affecting any business. Configuring a business to deal with change is a big challenge but it can be resolved with the right attitude and culture.

People fear change, because it takes them outside of their comfort zone. To worry about change is saying you worry about your own ability to do something slightly different. And when people get into a comfort zone, that's when they don't perform. They just do what's required. They don't go the extra mile.

There is a right way and a wrong way to manage change within the workplace. The right way results in guiding people outside of their comfort zone; to educate and empower a team of individuals to embrace change and see the benefit and longevity of change. The wrong way results in confused, defensive and demoralized staff.

The wrong way to embrace change

Often, organisations making changes will say, ''things aren't going right and this is what we're going to do''.

To say ''this is what you will do'', means people's roles change, jobs change. That is just poor management because it completely destabilizes the work force, resulting in people now doing different roles that they weren't employed to do. They won't embrace change and why should they? They want to protect their own position and job.

The right way to embrace change

Explain why you need to change, communicate the change and bring a team in.

For me, change is about brainstorming, about think tanks. Successful entrepreneurs embrace change by utilising their senior management team (or business advisors), by considering all of the things that aren't being done, how to make things better, how to do things differently. Evaluate why changes need to occur, whether there is a crisis to manage. Brainstorm and pinpoint areas that need to change in the business to avoid similar problems going forward.

Implement change as a collective. Rather than one person saying, ''this is how we're doing things, this is why we're changing'', it's actually saying, ''you've made the change, you've enhanced the business.'' This gets buy-in from those involved and becomes a lot easier to live with as a result.

Successful entrepreneurs create a culture within their company in which innovation and change can be welcomed. These companies have strong leaders, passionate teams and, together, they make decisions. They measure the effects their decisions will have. Find out what they don't know and why, resolve the issue, make the decision - team work.

New ideas are a vital part of being an entrepreneur, and these involve change. By leading from the front within a culture that welcomes and brainstorms new ideas, entrepreneurs are far more likely to succeed.

Implement change as a collective. Brainstorm with your team.
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