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Change: Happening Everywhere, Even to You

July 12, 2018

Organizational Culture

Kathleen Laney

Agile, adaptable, resilient – these are the types of words that describe the people that you want to attract, hire, retain, and develop to lead your organizations into the future, according to Dr. Barbara Chance, President and CEO of CHANCE Management Advisors, Inc. During her seminar at PIE 2018, “Managing Change – It is becoming job one,” Chance explains these words also describe the organizational cultures that will thrive in times of intensely competitive, rapidly transforming industries, customers, products and services.


And they describe you, that is, if you have a desire to stay employable and want to make contributions to the competitiveness and success of your organization.


Change Isn’t What is New


Change isn’t a new thing and it isn’t a new challenge that people, organizations, and industries have to deal with. What is new is the faster rate and pace of change that is making it more difficult for people to keep up.


Traditionally, change has been incremental and gradual, giving people time to adjust. But today change is fast and disruptive. And that is playing real havoc on businesses’ ability to react. According to the consultancy firm McKinsey, 40 percent of American employers say they cannot find people with the right skills that are needed for jobs available.


Chicken Little Can Stay Home for Now


Chance doesn’t believe the sky is falling for the parking industry, and if you look at those who say it is, they often have some self-interest in saying so, But she does believe there will be changes coming our way and to not look ahead to those changes would be foolish. 


This isn’t our first instinct. Our first instinct is to resist change, and we resist it for many reasons. From fearing that we will lose control to concerns about competence to past resentments, when leading any sort of change initiative, it is important to recognize that resistance to change is common and to a certain degree natural and expected. 


Resistance to Change


More often than not, 50 to 70 percent of the time in fact, organizations that try to undergo a change will fail. Largely in part because the people within the organization will resist the change. People at the top of the organization often buy in to the need for change because they see what the competition is doing and the need to be able to compete. Frontline employees also often see the need for change because they are interacting with customers and hear complaints or see things that are not working. 


It is often middle management where most of the resistance occurs. This is the group of employees who don’t see, and, often are not in the position to see, why the change is important. So, when implementing any sort of change initiative, it is important to communicate effectively to each stakeholder group and consider the resistance that each group might give. 


For leaders who are managing change, it is important to listen to those providing resistance. Resistors may have better ideas and if they do, adopt them along the way. There really is no reason not to.


Change Happens


According to McKinsey, 30 percent of today’s jobs could be automated in the near future. The skills we have today are going to be less relevant, perhaps obsolete. Just think of the typewriter. It’s even suggested that the average person will have seven jobs in their lifetime. Take all that in and process it.


The smartest thing any of us can do at this point is to accept that change is happening and prepare for it. 


 


According to the consultancy firm McKinsey, 40 percent of American employers say they cannot find people with the right skills that are needed for jobs available.


 


But how, you ask?


Chance has some excellent advice in this area.


First and foremost is my favorite – READ. And for those who prefer podcasts or videos – watch or listen. But consume information, whether about your job, about your company or about your industry. You need to stay up-to-date about the world around you.


Pay attention to your environment. Your environment will give you a lot of clues about what is affecting or going to affect your personally.


Add to your skills. Whether by attending webinars, seminars or online classes and getting certifications or other credentials, it is essential today to continuously add to your existing skill set. Technology isn’t remaining stagnant and neither should you.


Expand your horizons. Subscribe to online newsletters or attend presentations in areas that are outside your field. You don’t need to know just how to do your job. You need to understand how what you do fits into the big picture, into your organization and into the industry as a whole. 


Chance gave a thoroughly thoughtful presentation on change and how it is not only affecting parking but every individual, organization and industry. As the only constant we know these days, you can count on change being there today, tomorrow and the year after. But between her PIE presentation and this quick and dirty overview, there is no excuse now for being unprepared.


Kathleen Laney is CEO of Laney Solutions. She can be reached at kathleen@laneysolutions.com.



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