“The more success you achieve – either as an individual or as an organization – the more difficult it is to change. All the learning that led to one kind of success becomes implicitly coded and works against your ability to unlearn. The challenge then becomes how to uncover those deeply ingrained assumptions”. John Seely Brown, former director of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center
There can be no doubt that the prerequisite for growth – both at a personal and business level – is openness to both information and experience – and importantly, a willingness to be changed by them. The challenge that success brings is the sense of ‘being good at something’ and the ensuing comfort that leads to stagnation. If you wish to continue to be successful in a context of exponential change, you will need to ensure your team learns to embrace change. There is first learning, then unlearning and then relearning that is involved; guaranteeing sustainable success. And it is certainly easier said than done.
As in life, change is par for the course in business. Anything and anyone that does not change with the times is eventually labelled obsolete and irrelevant.
“To survive and succeed, every organization will have to turn itself into a change agent. The most effective way to manage change is to create it”. Peter Drucker.
Change is a gradual process. We don’t gain weight overnight! It happens, as Seth Godin so aptly puts it, “one French fry at a time”. Change is an on-going process. It requires constant attention. There can be no quick-fixes. Jim Collins in Good to Great makes the point that when any of the good-to-great executives were asked when it was that the change occurred they were unable to pinpoint a single key event that exemplified their successful transition. Change is a process rather than an event; it is a mind-set before it becomes an activity.
Is your mind set on change for 2012?