Managing Employee Resistance In A Professional Services Firm
Edward O’Leary, Abtrac CEO considers how many professional services firms could future proof their business by over-riding people suffering from change resistance.
Change is hard. Nobody who’s in a good space at any time likes to change. We all like stability in our lives. We fight to retain what we have, to preserve the status quo. Indeed most of us if asked, will want more of the same.
This is true regardless of where we sit on the scales of life.
We read of super-wealthy hiding their money, fighting the tax department or even each other to retain or regain monies they feel are theirs as of right, or trying to get away with a blatant theft on some pretext. And the reality is it’s the same genes in action in any of the poor, fighting to get paid or to retain money they feel are theirs as of right, or as with the rich, trying to get away with a blatant theft on some pretext. Between the two extremes, guess what, we’re all the same when the situation arises.
Similarly we all fight changes as we age. We yearn for things to stay the same. As time moves us all inexorably through our lives, whether we like it or not, whole industries are trying to help us maintain our beauty or our figures, or keep us smoking or drinking. There’s always something someone doesn’t want changed.
Money and aging are just a couple of examples of the genetic drive to keep what we have and get more of it if we can.
But the reality is, change is happening all the time. Consider the changes in your own life over the last 10 years. Even if you're naturally reserved or don't like change, consider how you have adapted.
Did you know throwing a shoe was the practise of carpet makers protesting against programmable carpet looms introduced in France over 200 years ago. A shoe thrown into the ‘automatic loom’ would stop it and most often cause significant damage. So the traditional carpet makers (who didn't like change) could be the heroes and deliver the goods ‘the old way’. FYI shoes were often themselves made of wood, and clearly not the gorgeous ones we can buy today.
The punch cards Jacquard Loom cleverly devised to manage patterns and colours were actually flat pieces of wood with holes in them. As the machine detected a hole it would change the pattern or the colour of the carpet or fabric. He was way ahead of his time. The same concept of punch cards was used in early computers. The first computer I ever worked on was at university and we’d submit punch cards and they’d be ‘run’ each night. Any errors were reported back the next day and we’d have to correct things and resubmit the cards for the next nightly run. Each assignment was agony!!
But I digress.
In business the same gene often prevails. People clinging onto old habits, old processes, old ideas and even old equipment, when clearly it’s long passed time for a change. One person in an office can hold back the whole business because (you guessed it!) they don’t want to change.
We come across this often with people who don’t believe in the cloud or “have been told” something or other or for some other reason they’ve decided to work hard to keep things the way they are.
If you’ve got someone like that they could be seriously holding back your business.
But the interesting thing is, if pushed through the change, guess what, after a fairly short time most die-hards don’t want to go back. They’ll rapidly stabilise because the same genes telling them not to change in the first place are now telling them they don’t want to change from the new way they’re doing things.
So if your business is being held back by someone not wanting to change, help them through, or push them through. Use whatever it takes. Try flattery. Try to exert your authority. Try bribery. Try threats.
The cloud is the new normal.
So if it’s time to consider a change in your business then check out our web site or our other blogs to learn more about us.
Or you might like to download any of our FREE eBooks available. Here's a select of three here:
Or call us or email us and we’ll be pleased to learn more about you. We'd like to understand more about your truly unique business. And we’d be very pleased to help you and your business through any change to Abtrac Online.
Ed is the CEO and Founder of Abtrac. He’s passionate about helping professional service businesses streamline their processes and achieve a stronger bottom line.