Dealing With Change at Work
By Stephen Bucaro
Re-organizing, re-engineering, re-training, down-sizing, outsourcing, changing-
changing-changing. Organizations today think they need to be constantly changing
or they will perish. Corporate leaders worship at the alter of new ideas where
the motto is, "Any new idea is a good idea".
Every organization operates based on work-flow and processes. The reason the current
processes are in effect is because over the years, many different ways of doing things
have been tried, and the organization adapted the current processes because they work.
There's nothing wrong with new ideas. Business conditions are always changing.
New competitors appear, new regulations are enacted, and new technologies become
available. The smart organization needs to adjust and innovate. But here's the problem
- 99 percent of all new ideas don't work.
• If you want to be successful at work, you have to learn how to
handle a constant barrage of new ideas and the chaotic work environment that results.
New Ideas from the Corporate Board Room
The most destructive new ideas come from the Board Room. A corporate executive has
an idea. He knows that 99 percent of new ideas, even his ideas, won't work. He proposes
the idea in order to receive feedback from the managers. Instead of pointing out flaws
in the executive's idea, managers heads start bobbing.
No one has the courage to tell the executive that his idea won't work. In fact, each
manager is thinking to themselves, "I'm going to MAKE his idea work and get some browny points".
There are three reasons why most new ideas from the corporate board room don't work.
1. People at the executive level get all their information from "head bobbing"
managers. At the executive level, reality is replaced by political fantasy.
2. They produce one-size-fits-all solutions. Most new ideas don't work when they have
to accommodate the complexity of reality.
3. Rather than taking time to study an idea, managers begin immediate implementation.
After all, the way all those managers heads were bobbing, the idea must be great.
When your job is affected by an idea passed down from management, DO NOT respond by
saying "that won't work". Managers have a built-in filter that converts the phrase
"that won't work" to "I have a bad attitude". If you have a reason why the idea won't
work, say it this way, "How does that work with (reason why the idea won't work)".
Saying it that way, you have not rejected the idea. In fact, you may have given the
manager an opportunity to fix a problem before it arises. If you see a problem with an
idea and you provide a solution to that problem, you will be considered a great team player.
New Ideas from Co-workers
If a co-worker approaches you with an idea that varies from the company's policies and
procedures, don't respond by approving or disapproving the idea. Say this, "that's an
interesting idea. Check with the supervisor/manager before doing things that way. Until
then, we should follow the current procedure."
• Almost all mistakes made by a business are the result of an employee
deciding to do things THEIR WAY rather than follow the company's procedures. To eliminate
mistakes, a company must fully document and vigorously enforce all policies and procedures.
Workers must follow the company's procedures.
Because the workers actually know what's going on in the company, they are in a position
to produce good ideas. Unfortunately, their ideas are often only ways to make THEIR job
easier by shifting their work to another person or department.