Thursday, December 12, 2013

A ‘Changeable’ Mindset

Mindset is Everything!

Change is accelerated at the digital era, to embrace change requires a change of mindset at every level and an understanding that things cannot stay the same. This is the groundwork that has to be done at all levels prior to initiating major change. But why is changing the mindset so difficult, and how to overcome it?

Mindset is generated by years of experiences and sometimes takes new experiences to affect it. Everyone comes to work for different reasons; it is the alignment of those reasons with the objectives of the company that keeps people active and involved in the business. Changing mindsets is challenging, often if people have been in an organization for a long period of time, their mindset may be one of "I don't want to change, and why should I". Mindset is at the heart of our belief system. These are beliefs that we all hold and have formed over time and hard experience. If we agree with this then we would have to say that we can not change someone's mindset....only they can. 

It’s the ‘SELL’ that's important. Even after selling the reasons for the change, some individuals will not change because they can't or don't want to. To effect change you need to think about how to sell the change to the team. This is done by:
- Talking about the need for change in relationship to the customer needs and the employee needs as well as the business needs.
- Including the people in the process so they don't feel like change has been imposed on them.
- Celebrating the successes along the way not just overcoming objections to change
- Encouraging the people who are on board and not just trying to convince the resisters to get on board.

Change is about moving forward and improving. It should be managed in a very grassroots way. As not all change is an improvement. So in some respects, those that resist change could argue that they do so because either the change will not result in an improvement or that the improvement is not evident to them. The perspective that 'people resist change' has reasons. It is entirely possible that the resistance is symptomatic of a number of deeper causes, one of which is that the change has not been properly defined, aligned or considered in respect to potential undesirable effects and appropriate mitigation strategies. Mindset is very important. It can be managed through an active participation in the leadership demonstration that the mindset is a part of the culture.

Mindset is a very broad term, and people are complicated, probably the most complicated 'thing' on the planet: But it doesn't mean we can't change to improve who we are and what we're doing. If you believe it's difficult, guess what, it will be. Resistance to any change is results of ingrained attitudes about oneself and about the company. These mindsets can be described as defensive and resist or reject anything that affects cozy familiarity. Very often it is founded on insecurity.

There is a critical mindset that needs to change and that is the mindset of management: That says "I know best, and because I know best you have to do what I say. It is the mindset of trying to control the things that you cannot control; that is the foundation of these other mindsets. Change that and you change everything! There is another mindset that needs to change. The mindset of the 'blame game' needs to be changed too, where blame always travels downwards, like gravity. Try to adopt a behavioral approach that requires each person to take responsibility for their own actions, since ultimately this is what one can control. So business leaders/managers must first examine their own mindset. This may include but not be limited to.
1). Their mindset about how easy or difficult the change will be to complete
2). Their methodology about how change is done
3). Their perceptions of the players who will be in the change initiative
4). Their decision making about the direction of the change
5). The degree, scope, and nature of the change required 

A ‘changeable mindset’ is a success factor for any change management effort, a prerequisite to building a culture of innovation and a trait in any high-performance businesses. Mindset is everything.  


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