Change Happens When the Pain of Staying the Same is Greater Than the Pain of Change!
- Tony Robbins
This quote is often mentioned in the context of human behavior change or in psychology narratives. However, I’ve also seen this same attitude in business decisions.
As a CFO or CFO consultant, I’ve often been involved in decisions surrounding process improvement initiatives (for agency management systems and other small to mid-sized company accounting systems) that, often-times, become related to computer software and hardware changes.
Over the years, examples of client or user complaints have included:
I’ve had these issues come up just recently:
In another case, change just needs to happen. A company simply does not care what it costs or how disruptive “a change” might be. Maybe this is just a way to clean house and eliminate the bad behaviors. There usually is some underlying reason agency management is looking at new systems.
Sometime this kind of change is a good strategy, but then the realization:
Taking the path of least resistance
Over the course of my career, I’ve been asked to consult with companies or make the right decisions in these situations ---many, many times. I go through the user interviews; identity work flows and develop ideas to make the processes more efficient. More times than not, the users already know what needs to be done, but human behavior always comes into play. An inefficient system many times is just a symptom of bad behaviors!
Then ultimately, a company decides:
But really what they are saying is: “The pain of change is not worth the pain of staying the same."
Any or all of these instances above show that the pain of change is not worth fixing the pain to stay the same. Or management totally miscalculated the pain to change. In any case, there is no good outcome.
So Now What?
Usually it starts with clearly understanding what problem you’re trying to solve. In many cases, the problem can be identified to bad behaviors around compliance, complacency and a lack of training. In other cases, it’s time to embrace the latest technology, and a collaborative effort of all stakeholders to learn, improve and embrace the latest technology together. Then a clearly, an articulated plan, with budgets and a time table to implement the change, is required.
If managed correctly, the pain of change will reward you with a positive ROI that will far exceed the pain of the current situation.
You may also determine that the real issue is related to human behavior or lack of training. Once you correct the behavior or provide the necessary training the pain goes away. Problem Solved!
Let’s continue the conversation. What is your story? How can I help?
Fill in the blank (copy and paste in the comments section below:
My current (System, Process, Career, Relationship) "Pain of Staying the Same" is GREATER than "the Pain of Change."