Changes are unavoidable in life as well as in the workplace.
However, when a chief feature of an organization's culture is its unwillingness to adapt to changing circumstances, the business is likely headed for trouble. Product obsolescence, low employee morale, and declining industry influence can cause irreparable harm to a company.
Business Obsolescence Every product or service was new once, but technology, fashions and consumer preferences continue to evolve. When a company fails to keep up with trends and technological advances, it runs the risk of producing products that nobody wants or needs any more. The market for videotapes of movies and television shows was incredibly strong in the latter part of the 20th century.
Many companies were highly successful in selling video players, recording cameras and the videos themselves. Other businesses specialized in renting videos. Over time, however, DVD and internet-streamed video became industry standards. Companies like Blockbuster that did not anticipate or adapt to these changes ended up going out of business or suffering severe losses.
Inefficient Processes Many companies are undercapitalized when they first begin operations.
It's not unusual for a startup to develop processes that reflect a need to conserve money while keeping the company running. Over time, however, new technologies and industry standards can offer businesses — even those with lean operations — more efficient and cost-effective options than those the company is currently using.
The reasons why a company might continue to operate under inefficient processes can be complex. In some cases, a company's leadership may isolate themselves from the industry and not be fully aware of options available. Another, more tricky, issue is that of a long-standing employee who performs a vital function within the organization and fears obsolescence.
As a result, the employee may refuse to adopt new technology and even sabotage efforts to create changes in current processes. A new company hires an experienced bookkeeper to manage its accounts. The bookkeeper opts to use a basic spreadsheet program to keep track of the company's numbers and cuts paychecks in-house.
As the company grows, so does its revenues, but the bookkeeper remains in an unchanged, unevolved role, using the same spreadsheet and handling all payments to employees, including salaries and expenses. After several years in business, the company considers investing in new accounting software and outsourcing its payroll management.
The bookkeeper is intimidated by the software packages and becomes convinced that adopting new software and outsourcing payroll will result in the loss of the bookkeeper position. As a result, the employee rejects all software packages under consideration and expresses suspicion of every payroll service the company considers.
Management is uncomfortable with upsetting a valuable employee who worked long and hard to get the company where it is. However, the books are a mess, and employees are complaining about the time it takes to be reimbursed for travel expenses. Waning Industry Influence When a business fails to change, it can lose influence within its industry, which not only damages its image among competitors and allied companies but also can contribute to a negative brand image among its consumers and clients.
Over time, loss of influence can cause the business to lose revenue and may inhibit its ability to attract quality talent and funding.
A well-known vegetarian food company made its name producing soy-based meat substitute products. Its owners were proud of the company's achievements and saw no reason to change its formulas or expand its product range.
Over time, however, the company's competitors invested in research and development, creating tastier, more versatile products made from non-soy protein sources. Competitors and consumers alike began to refer to the food company as an industry dinosaur and openly disparaged both the company's leadership and the products it produced.
As sales declined, the company found itself in financial trouble, particularly after a severe storm damaged its facilities.
It sought additional funding but found that its strong legacy wasn't enough to motivate lenders or investors to assist. Company ownership finally realized that it needed to bring in new talent to turn things around. Unfortunately, it was unable to offer the high compensation packages provided by competitors.
Even worse, qualified industry talent professed disinterest in working for a company that was considered behind the times. When a headhunter contacted possible recruits, these individuals explicitly stated that they worried that their professional reputations might be tarnished by working with this legacy company.These days, is the workplace even a place at all?Today’s “workplace” can no longer be defined in terms of a single, static location (like the corporate office).
Instead, the “workplace” is now a dynamic, fluid combination of physical and virtual spaces. Changes are unavoidable in life as well as in the workplace.
Change has the potential for positive growth and progress as well as for failure, according to Jerald Jellison, author of. Resistance to change within organizations can hamper productivity, efficiency and employee morale. Even worse, it can permanently damage a brand, resulting in a possible threat to the company's.
Change in management affects employees, even if the change is positive. The unknown is frightening to some and exhilarating to others. Work stress tops the list, according to surveys. Forty percent of U.S. workers admit to experiencing office stress, and one-quarter say work is the biggest source of stress in their lives.
The problem is, however, that it also betrays a certain mentality and state of being in which employees have ceased to learn or strive for self-improvement.