3 truths and 12 responses to drive change

Written by promotiondept

November 12, 2018

3 truths and 12 responses to drive change

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Eleic, famously wrote in one of his company’s annual reports, “Weve long believed that when rate of change inside an intution becomes slower than rate of change outside, end is in .” In all my years working in accounting profession, I don’t remember a time when rate of change from “outside” influences — demographics, automation, olidation, and regulation — was ever this significant. Is your firm keeping up with this change? Or, even better, staying ahead of it?

If you’re like most change agents I meet, you’re suffering while trying to drive meaningful change in your firm. You face resistance, and it’s disheartening. I hear you! That’s why I want to share three change truths and 12 ways to respond to objections raised by classic change resisters. Your goal is to shift your expectations and better address objections, so you can maintain your commitment to change and gain traction.

My three change truths:

To address 12 most common objections to change, ider se responses:

Objection: We don’t have time for this!

Response: Sometimes we have to make time for things that are and strategic, even when we don’t feel like we have time to spare. What are we to as a group? ider Jim Rohn quote, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” We can always put off change because of timing, but will we have time for lost talent or clients later if we don’t make this change?

Objection: This will cost too much! We don’t have budget for this!

Response: We have idered cost/benefit of this change and believe that cost of not changing — risk of lost clients or talent — is greater than investment required to make this change. We cannot afford not to change.

Objection: It won’t work!

Response: How do we know if we don’t try? Or: It is working for [names firms]. Why wouldn’t it work for us?

Objection: We tried that once and it didn’t work.

Response: Yes, and that was in past. Things are different now. Based on what’s happening in market, we should try again.

Objection: What if technology fails?

Response: That’s always a risk. But people feared technology failure when moving to computerized accounting, and now that’s standard. Some resisted going paperless, but it’s now norm. Ors have been afraid of moving to cloud, but its adoption is growing daily. Technology may be imperfect, especially early on, but it will eventually improve upon way we do things now. And if we wait until technology is fully mature, we risk being at a competitive disadvantage.

Objection: I don’t want to personally make this change.

Response: As leaders, we each have to put our selfish interests aside and do what is best for firm (or our clients, or our people). We don’t expect you to be at leading edge of this change, and we will start with ors first. But eventually you’ll be asked to come along.

Objection: We’ve always done it this way.

Response: And way we have done it has worked well for a long time. But our market is maturing, our competitors are embracing change, and our clients and people expect it. We cannot rest on way it was, we must innovate and create a new, better way.

Objection: If it isn’t broken, why fix it?

Response: It may not be broken, but waiting until it is broken will surely put us at a disadvantage.

Objection: Can’t we just take a year off from significant change?

Response: Only if market, clients, referral sources, our talent, and technologists rest. And with biggest demographic — and associated responsibility and wealth — shift ever seen in our country upon us, we know that market will not rest. We don’t have to change everything at once, but we do have to drive strategic change every year to compete and remain relevant.

Objection: If I have to change, n everyone else has to, too.

Response: Over time, everyone will change, but we are initiating change in a specific order. We’d like your group to change now, and we’ll focus on ors later.

Objection: Why do I have to share in change investment when I’m retiring in a few years?

Response: value of firm can be adversely affected if we don’t invest, keep current, and change to be competitive. Putting off change until some stakeholders retire will put us at risk of not being competitive. As an exing stakeholder with compensation and/or a buy/sell tied to firm’s wellbeing, it is that you invest in this change to maintain health of your investment.

Objection: I don’t feel like I was ulted prior to decision about this change. How can you be sure it will work for me/my group/my clients?

Response: This change was vetted by a smaller test group or by a specific person or client, and we’re glad to now get your input. As part of your change process, we welcome feedback on how we can minimize disruption and maximize benefit to you/your group/your clients.

Change is not optional. Accept my three change truths and practice using 12 techniques for handling objections. When you do, you’ll accelerate your firm’s rate of change and ensure your overall sustainability.

Jennifer Wilson is a partner and cofounder of ConvergenceCoaching LLC, a leadership and management ulting and coaching firm that s leaders achieve success. more about company and its s at www.convergencecoaching.com.


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