Real Champions Of Change…..10% only !!!

The Change.  The most popular jargon of management dictionary.  Heard a thousand quotes about the change in general, in life!  But the ‘Change Management’ in industry, in companies, in organizations, had evolved into an industry itself.

Well, change is an absolutely integral part of business.  You do need to change, preferably before you have to.

Though we all have heard about that people resist to change, but the change with itself brings a huge anxiety also.  The moment when a boss in a company announces a change or a new initiative which would supposedly bring a new ‘transformation’, people hate it.  They run back to their cabins, their chairs and frantically start e-mailing to each other or call each other with the reasons it’s going to ruin everything.

Remember, all the people like you and me love familiarity and patterns.  They cling to them.  It’s part of our human nature.  This essentially can explain that why sometimes managing change can feel like moving a mountain.  But at the same time, managing change can also be incredibly exciting and rewarding, particularly when you start seeing results.

Today, the most companies are in a constant state of flux….of change.  You have to be if you wish to stay in the game, let alone win it.  But if you have got some powers to bring about a decent change, please go for it; or get out otherwise.

Don’t run after every new management fad or don’t make a great hype and hoopla of your change initiative.  It would be change overload.  It is not advisable to adopt 10 different change initiatives at once and run in 8 different directions.

Actually, the change should be a relatively orderly process.  But for that to happen, people have to understand—in their heads and their hearts—why change is necessary and where the change is taking them.  You’d know that it’s easier when the problems are obvious, for example, your house is burning down, your earnings are collapsing, a competitor is making major inroads into your market share, etc.

But sometimes the need for change isn’t emerged across the horizons.  Competitive threats only seem to be emerging.  They may not even be real………..or they may be your company’s death knell.   You don’t know—and still, you have to respond.

In those cases, lots of data and relentless communication about the business rationale for change are the best ammunition you’ve got.  You absolutely need to go out there and start talking about–what do you know and what you fear.   Remember, the communication about change is not easy, especially if yours is a big company.  You have to stay away from empty slogans and instead stick to a solid, persuasive business case.

Over time, logic will prevail.

Another thing, the very best of best CEOs have tried to estimate that how many of their people make it to become real change agents.  They have estimated that real change agents comprise less than 10% of all business people.  Bomb..!!!

Well, these 10% are the true believers who champion a change, they know how to make it happen, and love every second of the process.  It also means that a significant majority—about 70% to 80% more—may not lead the change, but once they are convinced that the change is necessary, they would say, ”Okay already, let’s get with it.”

The rest are pure resisters.  They would resist only.

To make change happen, a good company must always actively hire and promote only true believers and get-on-with-its.  But with every one claiming to like change, how can you tell who is for real?

Luckily, change agents usually make themselves known.  They are typically brash, high-energy, and more than a bit paranoid about the future.  Very often, they invent change initiatives on their own or they ask to lead them.  Invariably, they are curious and forward-looking.  They ask a lot of questions that start with the phrase, “Why don’t we……?”  These people have courage—a certain fearlessness about the unknown. 

Something in them makes it OK to operate without a safety net.  If they fail, they know they can pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and move on.  They are thick-skinned about risk, which allows them to make bold decisions without a lot of data.

They are not always easy to work for.  They constantly ask questions, push people hard, and just never settle.  In the process, some people can feel threatened or scared.  But they are not a whatever-works, smooth-things-over kind of persons.  Successful change agents rarely are.

The point here is that to make change, you need true believers at the top, and get-on-with-it types everywhere else.  Do whatever you can do the get this people equation right.

You would find a core of true non-believers also, who absolutely will not accept change, no matter how good your case is.  Reasons might be emotional, intellectual, or political, whatever……….they usually have to go.   Even if the situation is nearly political or fraught, don’t hold on to resisters because of a specific skill set or because they’ve been around for a long time. DON’T.

Resisters only get more diehard and their followers more entrenched as time goes on.  They are change killers; cut them off early.

Yet, always be ready and have guts to look at bolder, scarier, more unpredictable events, disasters; be ready to assess and make the most of the opportunities they present.  This capability takes a certain determination and sometimes a strong stomach, but the rewards can be huge.

I mean, when you are going to change, you are up against, to say, Why it has to change?  Why those 10, 15 or 20 years weren’t okay?  But now, why the environment is different?

The reason we have to do—here is why?  And here is ‘Why’ –it is good for you?  You might be able to keep your job.  You might be able to get promoted.  A lot of things might have …………

But you have to say—‘the rationale for WHY’?  The high end of doing it.  And what is in it for people.  And if you don’t do that, the change is (nothing)……you can’t do it.  But you have got to be out there and you’ve got to repeat yourself a million times.  You gag on it, over and over again.  And you can’t change your message.  You can’t have a flavor of the month.

This change has got to be for real.  This has to get a real purpose behind it.  This has to get something for the company, and for the people.

Yes, Mountains do move!!!

With thanks,

Rajneesh Kumar
Mobile: +91 98106-63271
Join my network of Leaders, Managers, Sales Professionals, Educationists, Trainers, CLO, Management Consultants, Six Sigma Professionals, Marketing Professionals, etc at:


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About Rajneessh Kumar

A Marketing Professional with 16+ years of working experience
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2 Responses to Real Champions Of Change…..10% only !!!

  1. You cover a lot of ground in this post and describe what I refer to as the psychological resister – people who like the status quo. However, your suggestion that resisters should be removed is rather surprising. People create change… people constrain change. Therefore the right environment is needed to change beliefs and values. Bringing in change agents that behave like a bull in a china shop sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

    • First thing, the so-called change agent is actually not a change agent, if he is brash, aggressive or so-call overly dynamic. For me, even outside change expert doesn’t count as ‘Real Change Agents’.

      A real change agent belongs to a different breed altogether, that why far less number of ‘Real Change Agents’ are available within any company. They may/may not be aggressive, they may/may not be on leadership positions–but they have their faculties of ‘reason’ very open; they themselves may not be boost-full of themselves, but they are firm-believer of ‘progression’ (not of any change initiative in particular). Each of us is a paranoid of any thing that is new, but the degree of this paranoia is very low in real change agents. They seemingly have a very strong hunger for novelty, new wisdom, new methods, new knowledge of any kind.

      But a large majority would have a higher degree of paranoia about change in general, in life, in all sphere; but they could be persuaded & convinced with the help of strong & legitimate business logic or business case. We actually have to work with this segment more and should try our best repeatedly to lower their psychological resistance. We seek buy-in of these people. They are very important.

      There is a third breed as well. To whom, no logic, no conviction would work. It’d almost impossible to get their buy-in and they would have such a high degree of paranoia about any change, they would defy all prudence, information and knowledge. It is about them being 24 carat of Resisters. But they would have a great capacity to dilute the whole change initiative.

      Again the degree of importance attached with change initiative would dictate what to do with them. Yes you are right when you state that a lot many such problems may be sorted out with the presence & built up of conducive environment. But still you have to get your human equation of change right.


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