Every change you make in your company is critical. Even something which seems insignificant like moving a bin.
It is important to understand that even when you make what you might deem as a small, insignificant change, that it can have critical consequences and disrupt business. Let’s take an example of moving a bin within an office to explain this point further..
WHY A BIN?
Why is a bin mentioned here at all, why isn’t something far more compelling and challenging used? The honest answer is because you will more than likely have committed binarchy at some point in your life!
On the face of it, moving a bin in your office closer to your desk, or a more convenient location, is not a big deal, right? Wrong. Now, some of you out there will have been fortunate enough to have expressive colleagues who vented frustration and a quick resolution was found. In worse cases, problems or issues were aired a little later. Be aware that if you never heard anything, you may have yet to suffer the consequences of binarchy. Remember even moving a bin can sink an organisation. How? I’ll tell you.
A BIN SCENARIO…
So, let’s picture a well established organisation (another way of saying old), which has a lot of long term serving staff. In this organisation there has been a lot of movement to improve efficiency in the office. There have been cutbacks and there is a constant drive to lower costs and increase output.
Now imagine David, a long term employee (currently a copywriter in the organisation) who performs well and has always done everything the way he always has. David is used to the office layout as it always has been. I hope you are already seeing where this is going.
Chris comes into the organisation, bright eyed, and full of energy. He works near David and spots the bin is not quite equidistant from both desks, so moves the bin.
There are so many ways this could all play out:
- It could be that David says nothing and gets on with work and performs as always.
- He might say nothing, get on with his work but start resenting Chris, allowing it to affect his behaviour. This could result in so many potential outcomes.
- David could say a lot very abruptly, but everyone could move on and perform going forward.
- David might
howeversay too much and get fired. The performance of the whole organisation, as a result, diving and the company disappearing.
These may all be somewhat unrealistic to some people but believe me the perils over small stuff like a bin moving can be numerous and ultimately sink an organisation.
HOW TO MAKE A CHANGE IN YOUR COMPANY (ALL CHANGE, BOTH SMALL AND MAJOR)
How do we avoid this happening?
Every change needs the same approach:
- Understand Environment
The most important part is understanding the environment. The moment you understand the environment the change is made 100% easier. The types of things that should have been done were:
- Chris needed to understand the culture of where he was working. He should have understood that David is an influencer within the organisation, albeit he’s never been promoted but he has been there a long time and he has a lot of standing in the office. He produces a large % of the companies valued work. The company has a vision of supporting families in the UK.
- Chris should have communicated why the change was needed in the right terms for David and the organisation. The bin needed to be equidistant because it would help efficiency within the team and ultimately help support UK business to be more competitive, ultimately supporting more families, something David believes in strongly (ok a little over the top, however it is essential to understand how to speak to get others enthusiastic about the change).
There are many more potential outcomes to the above bin scenario and remedies to ensure the change is delivered quickly and efficiently, with minimal fall out, however this bin example is posed simply to raise awareness of how important it is to get change right all the time.