|By Rebel Brown||
|March 3, 2013 07:01 PM EST||
Resistance is Futile... ~ The Borg
The Borg, and our human response to them, offers a perfect example of resistance to change as a positive behavior.
Unfortunately that's a very, very rare example of resistance to change as an upside. The reality is that resistance in our business is futile - and dangerous.
Resistance Will Hurt Your Business
How many times have you watched someone dig their heels in like the proverbial donkey, all because of a proposed change to their thinking or actions? The arguments are often illogical in the face of reality - yet the resistance continues and often strengthens with every minute. Until all heck breaks loose as the big event occurs and the business is threatened.
Change is the one constant in our world today. Yet I constantly see resistance to change in my clients and audiences. The energy and power we put into arguing for our limitations of today is mind boggling! Especially in the face of ever-changing uncertain markets.
Any executive will tell you they know that they need to change if they want their business to be successful. We acknowledge that we need to get better at being adaptable, responsive and flexible. Even as we continue to resist the very changes that will create the unstoppable performance we need for profitable growth.
To Resist or Not to Resist?
In the case of the Borg - we resist because we want to preserve our individuality and humanity. That's not our motivation when it comes to other changes. The truth is that our minds are programmed to like the safety and comfort of the way we've always done it. Especially in uncertain and threatening situations - which pretty much describes many of our markets today.
The threat to our business isn't really that competitive shift or dwindling bottom line. The threat is the change we must make to remain relevant and compelling in the face of market shifts. Even when it isn't logical, we'll hang on to yesterday's news and resists that change. It's pure human instinct.
Yet resistance is futile. As our markets move on and we resist the changes, we fall further and further away from the needs of our buyers. Our distinct value fades and our selling proposition becomes anything but compelling. Over time - we will attempt to change. But only when the big event occurs and we're faced with two very limited choices... change or die. That's a bit too late, now isn't it?
3 Shifts to Ditch That Resistance
The good news is that we can reprogram out knee jerk resistance and shift into the changes that fuel unstoppable performance. When we commit to making that change.
Here are three simple shifts that will open your brains to change.
Try on the change.
Flip your stance and try on the alternative perspective. Put yourself in the position of advocating for the change, then spend some time gathering the evidence to prove that the change is exactly what you need. List the pros and lobby for the very thing that you resist. Ask others on your team to do the same so that you cover all the options for change. Then come back together and re-evaluate your current approach or thinking, listening to the new evidence and perspectives. You will view your status quo differently because you forced your brain to see new ideas and options.
Model others who have changed successfully.
Modelling successful behavior is a powerful way of creating success in your own world. Find another business that's successfully navigated the types of changes that will create your future success. It doesn't have to be in your own industry. Outside industries often provide insightful approaches to successful change. Find others who have successfully adapted to new markets and buyers, break down their approaches and apply them to your business.
I had a client who banned resistance to change in his business. Don't laugh - it worked. At an all hands meeting he announced that resistance just for the sake of resistance was the biggest enemy of the company's success. So he created a Stuck in the Old Fund. Anyone resisting as a knee jerk reaction to a change got to donate $1 for every statement that was resistance-based. He also rewarded those who began to consistently think out-of-the-box. A day off, a dinner with their spouses or friends, even a party for the team that created a breakout innovation that threw resistance to the wind. The Fund paid for the rewards. Until the fund was dry as change became an integrated part of the company's culture. They're still innovating and growing! Even in this supposedly impossible economy.
The Bottom Line
The Borg were right when it comes to your business and change. Resistance is Futile, and very dangerous to your overall success.
So the next time you catch yourself or one of your team arguing for the status quo or your current limitations - remember the Borg!