Why Change is Hard and How To Make it Easier

Organizational development specialists always tell us that change is difficult. They say that people are resistant to new things, are too comfortable in existing processes, and that we really need to be pushed or coddled to leap into the new. Others feel that change is natural and welcome and that it’s “fake change” that we resist. So, which is it?

This article leads us to believe that it is the former. It describes how there are many people who want to buy electric cars, but that many dealerships are reluctant to sell them. There seems to be a choice here: Dig in your heels against change and continue to reap short-term profits or invest in some training and embrace a new market.

The automobile was one of the most disruptive technologies of modern history. Yet, the automobile business is one of the most reluctant to change, whether through a history of fighting federal fuel efficiency standards Download DraStic DS Emulator For PC (which the industry always meets after whining and crying) or suing to prevent new distribution models. Resisting change when the consumer wants it is futile—electric cars will be sold through dealers and new distribution channels. It’s just a matter of when.

So, how do we get our organizations to embrace disruptive change? Here are a few (not exhaustive) useful guidelines:

  • Gather meaningful input. Big changes should not be implemented until you know the potential impacts on all shareholders. Not everyone will be happy with change, but it should be a cultural imperative that you hear from those affected before making a decision. People are more likely to embrace change that they author. So, if you are a dealership, how can we make the sales cycle for electric cars closer to that of existing ones? How can we quickly educate ourselves and consumers about them?
  • Show firm leadership. Once a decision has been made, top management needs to be clear in its resolve and describe the benefits of the change, while acknowledging any negative affects. Management needs to be open to small tweaks, but committed to the direction. The dealers are afraid that more electric cars will lead to less profit in the service department. That should be acknowledged as well as the benefits of change (we can be the go-to dealer for this new technology; this gives us the opportunity to develop lifetime relationships with people who are eager to try new things, etc.).
  • Make the people part of the change the first priority, not the last one. Whatever your great new process or technology, it has to be implemented by employees. Have your communication and training in place before the change is implemented. Part of resistance to change is that people are afraid that they won’t be as good at their jobs anymore. You can alleviate that by putting employees before technology. This could be realized by providing the sales and repair staffs with training about the new technology before being asked to sell or work on it. Build their confidence rather than making them frustrated.

Organizational change is complicated and messy. I’m sure several of you have other tips and experiences with it besides what’s listed above. I’d love to hear your ideas!

Are we receptive or resistant to change? That all depends on the change and what we think is in it for us. As change agents, we need to embrace the person dynamic of accepting the new in order to be effective.



Is There a Hiring Bias Against Those With Disabilities?

Most HR professionals are aware of the biases that come along with hiring racial minorities and women. Can we now add disabilities to the list? This is an important question given the number of wounded veterans and others with disabilities in the workforce.

The paper describes how resumes were sent to accounting firms (of varying size) and listed no disability, Asperger’s Syndrome, or a spinal cord injury. Those with disabilities got about 25% fewer responses. Interestingly, the differences were largely explained by the size of the firm, with the smallest ones being less inclined to respond favorable to a resume from someone who is disabled.

While the study is interesting, I question the methodology. For instance, do people with disabilities normally put them on their resumes? Websites dedicated to helping those with disabilities find employment tell people NOT to. Also, it’s not required by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). I get the authors point and they are following a methodology used to measure discrimination against women and minorities based on their names, but I don’t think it generalizes to disabilities if listing it on a resume is not common practice.

However, if we assume that hesitancy to hire the disable generalizes from a resume to seeing someone in person, it is telling that smaller firms (<15 employees) were more likely to reject the disabled applicants than larger ones. These businesses account for about 18% of the employment in the U.S., so we’re not talking about small potatoes. Also, the ADA doesn’t apply to them, while there is a patchwork of state ADA-ish laws that might. As such, those companies may not be as aware of what is discrimination against the disabled or given much thought to reasonable accommodations. One can easily imagine the thinking (or subconscious) of one of these firms when they realize an applicant is disabled. What about my health insurance costs? How will I cover any additional days missed?

At the risk of being cynical, one can only suppose that those with disabilities face some level of discrimination. I am optimistic in thinking that every small business wants to hire the best person, regardless of disability. Maybe small business just needs some education on the topic.

For more information on recruiting and hiring those with the skills and abilities to do your work, please contact Warren Bobrow.







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