Why is change so hard?


A Lean Transformation is all about changing how people think and behave. Unfortunately, change is hard because it requires temporarily giving up something that most of us need – control.

Change, especially when imposed on us by others, threatens our sense of control and safety. Who doesn’t know people who choose to remain in bad situations rather than venture into the unknown world of change? Fear of change is a major explanation for why we persist in bad habits, even when we know we shouldn’t.

Only when we are inspired to see the value of change do we embrace it. This is what we mean by changing from the inside out.

Employee engagement is one of your biggest challenges.

According to a recent Gallup Survey published June 11, 2013, 70% of American workers either are “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged” at work. Their lack of emotional connection to their workplace makes them less likely to be productive.

According to Gallup, “actively disengaged” employees alone cost the US $450 billion to $580 billion each year in lost productivity. Gallup further concludes that these employees are also more likely than their engaged peers to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays and drive customers away.

An assessment by The Lean Way Consulting can tell you if your company is so afflicted. A Lean Transformation may be your way out.

What causes a Lean Transformation to fail?

Change is hard. A change effort can fail for any of the following reasons:

  • No strategy
  • A few people, usually at the top, trying to convince the rest of the people that change is needed.
  • Too much focus on attitude, which is subjective, rather than on behavior, which is objective.
  • Emphasis on procedures over outcomes.
  • A change that seems like a disruption of “real work.”
  • Enforcement of compliance over commitment.
  • A lack of organization-wide personal employee commitment: “I’m not really responsible, so it’s not that important.”
  • A slow change of pace.
  • Breakdown during implementation.
  • Keeping the typical mindset of “decide, advocate and defend.”

The Lean Way Consulting addresses and overcomes all of these obstacles.

Why changing from the inside out works better.

Our experience has taught us the best way to get lasting change in an organization is to change the way its people think about their work and their organization. This means engaging the people who actually do the work in the process by affirming their shared aspirations and applauding them for the things they do right.

Once they see and feel differently, they will devise ways for achieving their agreed-upon goals. Rather than implementing plans and processes imposed on them from management, they will be implementing their own ideas.

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