When someone starts a new workout program, what’s the inevitable result the next day? Muscle soreness and pain.
When a child gets to adolescence an starts to grow, for the particularly tall, what do they often start to get? Growing pains.
I can find example after example but the end result will be the same: change hurts. And as some rabid fitness enthusiasts will tell you, pain is not just weakness leaving body, it’s your body warning you that you’re getting ready to change it, that you’re doing something big…
We all know organizations have been compared to people, so why is it when we get ready to make big “changes” (new applications, new processes, new structures) that people expect:
1) For it to be easy, and,
2) For it not to hurt?
Change hurts. It’s supposed to. It pushes people outside of comfort zones, forces them to learn new things and new ways of doing old things. Some things are less efficient, by design. And some things are more efficient out of necessity.
If it’s not hurting, in most cases, you’re probably not doing it right.
Should we prepare people for change? Yes. But it’s a best efforts activity. Some times you don’t have the time to make it smoother. And some times it’s best to simply pull the band-aid right off.
Culturally, in many organizations, we seem to have gotten a little scared or reticent to enact real change, and that’s not okay. We hobble our ability to adapt. For present comforts we’re hobbling our future prospects. If you don’t adapt, as history has shown, you don’t survive.
So for those of us in change out there, let’s stop the comfort games and get back to shaking things up the best way we know how. Someone’s got to be the drill sergeant in this outfit, might as well be us.