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.