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Employment Tips

Change Versus Improve - Two Sides of the Same Coin
By:Hans Bool

Always a good question to ask when dealing with a possible change is: Why? Why don’t we improve instead?

We can not.

“Well, we have tried this for the last month or years, but the performance is below the target and there is no sign of improvement.”

This is one good reason for change. Companies hire an outside interim manager to make structural changes. The continuous situation of dissatisfaction mounts up to the urge of change. People have to become convinced before they accept that this cannot continue.

Another reason and answer on the question: “why don’t we improve?”

We do not like to.

Improve is like maintenance, it is not sexy. We like new projects disregarding whether the old still serves or not. It is like buying a new mobile, the old is still ok, but we like to go with the flow, everybody buys a new mobile.

In the first case.
People like to improve. For example they prefer to maintain and conserve what they have now. They do not see how a new and untested new method could lead to better results. So why should they change? But improvements are prone to diminishing returns.

In the second case.
People prefer the new above the old. This means that technically the investment is still interesting, but commercially not.

Of course both situations are opposites, but under different circumstances. It is logical to prefer “the new” if you see immediate benefits (a new mobile phone, notebook, a better job). If this benefit is not visible on the short term, the same people will change from change-leaders into change-resisters.

© 2007 Hans Bool

Hans Bool writes articles about management, culture and change. If you are interested to read or experience more about these topics have a look at: Astor White or sign-up for our newsletter. http://www.astorwhite.com/

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