Don’t Resist Change

It was Vincent van Gogh who said “You have first to experience what you want to express.” We all can relate to this comment when we are not happy with an experience because we find it rather easy to express why we are not satisfied. However, how do jewelry managers use this expression to guide them toward improving the performance of their organization through change? How do managers visualize that which they have not yet experienced?

All companies require goals to guide and drive the organization. How do jewelry managers know what the best decision is when they are confronted with situations where they have no decision making experience? We all use habits to help us simplify our daily lives. How do managers know when to move away from habitual performance to make necessary changes? The answer may be in those criteria/events that keep happening over and over without resolve. 

What sort of considerations will guide managers to know when to make change possible? Some changes can prove to be destructive either in principle or through the actual implementation process. So there is always an element that making no change has value. Once again, what criteria/events keep happening even though different solutions have been tried? Be sensitive to the noise level of things that need to be changed. That noise level comes through direct and indirect feedback.

Experienced managers are always on the lookout for feedback. How can managers avail themselves of more innovative feedback? Begin by asking for more feedback and not responding to feedback without first carefully evaluating all content points. Sometimes we misperceive the intended context of feedback and that can make very valid statements seem foreign and inapplicable. New employees often come into an organization with lots of new ideas. It usually takes about six months for new employees to stop making suggestions because they eventually feel beaten into submission by all the reasons why their ideas won’t work. Of course management is right because no idea will ever work if it is not properly supported. Knowing how to nurture a new idea to be adapted without losing its ability to create and deliver value is the art of management. Take new ideas and rather than immediately state why it won’t work . . . give it some time to sink in and then try to project how it might work. What possible benefits might the proposal offer the organization?

Every environment has factors (and people) that resist change. This can often be due to the need for status quo to maintain that which is now common and expected within the organization. Sometimes the resistance to change can prevent the successful introduction of change within an organization. Managers must be able to anticipate resistance to change and deal with those resistors in proactive ways and do so before negativity sets in. We speak of the art of management but there is an art to successfully implementing change too.

When managers accept new ideas and want to initiate them they must anticipate potential resistance to the idea. Employees may not view the proposal in the same light as management; why is this so? What do these employees need to know to be able to accept and implement specific changes? These are some examples of what managers must know how to express before they actually attempt to implement change. Change is necessary and so is the ability to accurately project proposed changes to support sucessful implementation.