Change or die – the consequence of (not) changing

Imagine you have smoked all your life and your doctor tells you due to Covid 19 that you belong to the risk group and you better stay at home because otherwise you will die. Thus, you turn your whole life upside down and work from home, keep distance to your friends and family and give up everything you love for months.

Admittedly, this is a drastic example. But sometimes we need one to learn from. To really understand that it is now a matter of survival, life or death. That’s why in the current pandemic people are saying that there are opportunities arising from the crisis. That we see the situation in a crisis and under stress more clearly than in “normal” times. This affects us as individuals as well as companies and society.

Many entrepreneurs have realized that working from the home office is not so bad, that it brings many advantages and that it should be continued even after the pandemic. Parents can thus better combine work and family life and a company that offers home work is more attractive for young talents. Some companies have realized during the crisis that they are completely dependent on a few suppliers and deliveries no longer arrive or are diverted in a global crisis. Here too, there will certainly be changes after the pandemic, or some companies will disappear from the market. During the crisis, some countries have also had to recognise that investing in social and health systems pays off, because it means that we are all better protected and otherwise costs would skyrocket.

However, why do we find it so difficult to assess the (negative) consequences of doing nothing and to take these into account in our decision? On the one hand, the “Optimism Bias” plays a trick on us, in which he makes us believe that everything won’t be that bad… This can be observed particularly well in relation to climate change. On the other hand, humans are creatures of habit. We simply feel better in our comfort zone and want to avoid going to new shores and doing things differently.

Everything we do (or do not do) has consequences. Whether we like it or not. Sitting down and thinking through these consequences, playing through scenarios with “what if…”, trying out alternatives and evaluating whether they bring progress or learn from our own (or others’) experiences helps to avoid critical situations. Sticking your head in the sand does not work.

We at Tiba work according to the ADKAR® model of Prosci®. The first step is to create an awareness of the situation and the urgency for change. Often the problem starts right here. An external impulse, a crisis that we have to overcome, or (better) our own insight, can help before it is too late. When we ourselves recognise why something has to be done, then the second step is also easier, namely the desire for change. The knowledge and ability for change can then be obtained elsewhere, for example from a coach or a consultant. Finally, the reinforcement is also to a large extent up to us. If we are convinced of the necessity for change, then we implement the change in a sustainable manner, if not, …   Well, you better change!

Read more in our Change Management Workbook (German language only).

Author: Reinhard Wagner, CEO of Tiba Managementberatung



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