You’ve probably heard the saying ‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!”, or some kind of variant of it (‘never change a winning horse’ for example), a million times. Many people are apprehensive about change because it poses a risk, the risk that the endeavor might fail. But there are many reasons to actually embrace change, the most important ones are: Innovation and progress.
‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’? – 3 Reasons Why Change is Good for BusinessLinh Tran, Thursday 10 December 2015 | Reading time: unknown
It is a truth universally acknowledged that people do not like change. They like the familiar, because it’s safe and there is certainty. But if 20th century quantum physics has taught us anything, it’s that there can never be certainty, and everything is relative (there’s more to that, but we’re a project management blog, not a physics one, so we won’t (can’t) elaborate on that. Sorry!). Anyway, without change there would be no progress. Imagine if people in the 19th century had been satisfied with horse carriages as a means of transportation; cars would have never been invented!
So, here are 3 reasons why it’s important for businesses to make changes even if nothing is broken:
Your team will thank you
Nothing can kill motivation and engagement as quickly as boredom and monotony. When a business isn’t willing to make changes, then both will inevitably spread like an infectious disease. While many do not even realize that they need change (as we have already established, in people’s minds ‘change’ is automatically filed under ‘very, very bad’), the ensuing stagnation will make your employees lose interest in their work sooner or later. This then can either result in them working extremely unproductively or leaving your company entirely. As a manager and leader you’d want to avoid both scenarios.
To do so, one strategy is to offer additional training courses for your employees to encourage them to learn new skills or enhance their existing ones. The business world is constantly changing, and so are trends, and ‘best practices’ continuously evolve. Only if your team is up to date with the latest practices can you charge ahead of your competition. And as a neat and equally important side effect, it will give your team new, interesting challenges that keeps their work exciting.
The competition doesn’t sleep
A business doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and niche markets are as quickly flooded with competing companies as they are created. Your competitors are trying to win as many customers as possible to increase their own market share. This means that you need to stay ahead by developing and launching new and innovative products or services as quickly as possible. As the saying goes ‘you snooze, you lose’.
By resisting change, you miss out on many growth opportunities, either when it comes to your product or service, or market opportunities. Thanks to globalization, companies can expand to other regions and markets fast and relatively cost-efficient. But you need to understand that there are cultural and regional differences, so in most cases you can’t just use your current strategy, but need to develop strategies tailored to these other markets.
There wouldn’t be any innovation or progress without change. It’s those that disrupt the current status quo that create new and improved products and services, sometimes filling a need that people weren’t even aware of having (we’re looking at you, Uber and Airbnb).
To enhance innovation, don’t just look at the technological side, but create a working environment that facilitates innovation and creativity in your team: give them the freedom to innovate and experiment and make sure that they know that it is all right to fail. The fear of failure is why most people resist change, so you need to make sure that your team knows that they can fail; in fact some of the best innovations are results of supposed ‘failures’.
For further reading:
Why You Should Embrace Change Management (Aspects of Project Management Part 2)