How do I lead the change?

After having a sumptuous lunch yesterday, I decided to grab a cup of coffee at Krispy Kreme, but I was so unfortunate to find a good seat because they’re all full. So, I went into a home grown coffee shop in CDO and for the longest time, I always had one of the best brewed coffee in town plus they have been faithfully delivering a world class type of customer service and an excellent facility. So I walked into the counter and asked for a cup of brewed coffee. Because I had the luxury of time to spend in the afternoon before meeting my last client at 5:00 PM, I decided to check on a few emails, but my mobile data wasn’t working so I asked the cashier for their Wifi password.

I was very shocked about how she looked at me (like I owe her an apology) and she said “Sir, we are now setting a minimum purchase of 150 pesos if you want to use our “Free” Wifi. So, without thinking twice I ordered an additional slice of cake and paid the total bill of 185 pesos. She handed me a very small piece of paper with the wifi password on it. I walked away from the counter and grabbed a seat near the window. After a few hours I asked the waiter if I could have a glass of water and he said “We’re also charging 10 pesos per glass of water”. What? I was just here two weeks ago and there were no minimum purchases required to connect to the Wifi, and the glass of water was always free. So, what’s changed? — They’re running under a new management.

With the modern market demand and fluctuating economic situations, a lot of business owners and organization leaders today are trying to stay on top of the competition. From time to time, you will see emerging technologies, process changes, new resolutions, new campaigns, new marketing strategies, and new perspectives. Let’s face it – the ultimate goal of why we stay on top of the competition is survival. There’s a reason why we study the current status of the market, why we set targets, why we demand for innovation – and it’s because we want to ensure that our businesses are going to survive in the next 50 years or so.

I’ve always heared the phrase “Change is the only thing that’s constant”. When I was a kid, my dad would always sing songs of the 70’s and I always hear the song “Constantly” by Cliff Richard. As the title of the song suggests, constantly means a repetition of an instance. For example, the stream of the river flowing, the sunrise and sunset – anything that you just can’t let go or take control. Because of this nature, only people who are adapting to change can easily survive. But, what about those who are resistant? What about those slow learners and those who are reluctant to change?

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One of the main reasons why many people are having a very hard time adapting to change is because we don’t implement it the right way. It’s very easy to study the market because the sources are available anytime. It’s also very easy to diagnose process discrepancies because we have different departments working together. It’s even easier to draft a process change┬ábecause it’s just a matter of writing and sending off cascade mediums. The hardest part is how you do it — how you actualize and enforce this to the concerned individuals (Customers, Clients, Employees, Citizens, etc…)

Organizations don’t exist without leaders. Leaders play a very important goal in the overall business because they govern the relationship between people and process. The vitality of a leader’s role is not defined by the level of position, but it’s defined by how they use that position to bring people and process together. I want to share key points on how to effectively manage change within an organization:

1. Be transparent – Sit down with your people and talk to them. Discuss the current situation of your organization, present the real status and share where you are heading. The more you let people understand the real situation, the more you’ll get the support for the change that you want to implement.

2. Don’t set the bars high right away – We have to understand that they’re not programmed robots. Sitting down with them and explaining why you want to change something is not going to be an overnight work for them. They have emotions and they can be unconformable during the early phase of implementation. Be patient and allow reservations.

3. Never compare people – Don’t attempt to compare the people who are adapting to change versus the people who are resistant to change. Different personalities differ in their pace of adaptability. Some leaders keep making people as examples without realizing the idea that everyone is unique.

4. Change what’s not working – Be open. Don’t let yourself get stagnant with pushing your ideas. As leaders, listening and understanding what you sense is a critical character. If you see that it’s not helping, scratch off what you drafted, get feedback, and work on what’s going to work for them.

Change is very uncomfortable and it can hurt anybody. If you don’t start with working how to effectively manage change within your organization, it’s going to be tougher job managing change in the industry you’re competing.More than just staying on top of the market and adapting to change, we need leaders who will implement these changes the right way.