Despite how much people love the abstract notion of change, when it really happens, they hate it. That's because real, lasting change requires some big shifts in how you do things. And what we're seeing with many of our clients is that adapting to today's new technology, new business environments and new generations’ approach to the workplace is bumping up against people’s resistance to change and their understanding of what this thing called “culture” really is.
Changing corporate culture is particularly difficult because the human brain is designed to rely on habits and certainty. When people hear the words, “We have to change the way we do things here,” their brains immediately look for ways to protect the status quo.
So given all the roadblocks that people's brains put up, how do you drive change?
The challenges of changing a culture, particularly a professional services firm
With professional services firms, knowing what has to change and then putting those changes into practice are particularly tricky challenges. Due to the nature of their jobs, these types of professionals deal with risk every day. In their eyes, moving away from their tried and true procedures for the sake of change is a risky undertaking. It could jeopardize their comfortable roles, the makeup of their company and their careers. They are very reluctant to redesign their culture and accept the new. In fact, they’ll fight to prevent it.
Yet despite this resistance to change, cultural change is happening in service firms mainly because like it or not, internal and external factors in the industry are making it a necessity.
These three major trends are pressing service organizations to change, and fast:
- Clients are changing faster than they are
- Generational shifts are pushing the changes forward
No matter how much organizations may fight it, change is inevitable
And without a clear cultural direction that permits people across many generations to adapt to new business environments, companies can end up missing out on hiring top talent in their industry, generating income from new clients, and even retaining existing ones. With the wrong culture, many businesses will struggle to sustain a positive bottom line.
To help professional services firms, and really any organization, achieve true and lasting change, we at SAMC offer these three solutions:
1. Culture change webinar
Companies want to “change their culture.” The problem is, they aren’t really sure what their culture is today, much less what they would like it to become in the future. Nor do they know how to get it there. To get them started, we’ve recently produced a webinar (click here) to help them put in motion the changes needed to shift a culture.
2. White paper
We've written a very informative white paper on how to put a process in place to drive change, overcome challenges and reach your potential for success. Access the white paper here.
3. Blogs and podcasts
As culture change experts, we have written and spoken widely on the topic of organizational change. Here are 6 highly informative blogs and podcasts you might find of value:
- Blog: Change Might Be Exactly What Your Organization Needs to Be Successful
- Blog: 5 Ways to Make Your Team Awesome Agents of Change
- Blog: Why Companies Have to Change or They Will Not Thrive
- Podcast: Ask Andi—How Do You Change Your Culture?
- Podcast: Kimberly Davis—Leading Change: Are You A Brave Leader?
- Podcast: Andi Simon—Women Entrepreneurs Changing Corporate Cultures
Ready to embrace change?
Read all about our approach to culture change on our blog and in our book, “On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights.”
At Simon Associates Management Consultants, we can help your business move in the right direction — forward. We work with you to develop innovative strategies that will allow you and your team to respond to changes so you can dominate your industry, not just tread water. We would love to hear from you and see how we can get started!
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