Businesses are being challenged today like never before. The advent of IT and rapid communications has led to contract negotiations and time-to-market plummeting from months or years to a matter of weeks.
The need to do something different and better has never been so strong. But how do we change the culture of people and managers who have for years been toeing the company line and meeting all their KPIs for the past few, perhaps too many, years?
If a manager is doing the job and enjoying the spoils and trapping of managerial success then what is the incentive that drives them to ‘rock the boat’? What is the driver that will change behaviour and have people do something different, perhaps innovate or actively search the horizon for new opportunities?
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Unfortunately, and quite understandably, the incentive to take risks and engender change is virtually non-existent.
Survival in business requires change to drive managers to embrace innovation and new opportunities, but why would you do that if life is good and we are not being forced to change. Rather, maintain the status quo and keep doing what we have always been comfortable doing?
Embarking on change means taking on more work and more risk, perhaps even risking your career in the process. Consequently to change course, especially in large businesses, is a bit like trying to turn the Titanic.
In Singapore one enlightened CEO of a very large company put a mandate and KPI on all department heads that, for each successive year, 10% of their revenue would come from new products or new opportunities. Management salaries and bonuses were tightly tied to this mandate. The success of this approach was outstanding.
The bottom line here is to recognise the need to adapt and change to succeed in today’s business world, especially within big businesses. Find ways to drive the change initiative. A failure to do so may lead to an outcome far worse than the risk of trying.