Tips on Change Management for Entrepreneurs

Manila Bulletin, April 8, 2016 | Go to article overview

Tips on Change Management for Entrepreneurs


Most entrepreneurs are dreamers. In fact, dreaming big is the very reason why a lot of us become entrepreneurs in the first place. We want to achieve success. Inside our empires, big or small, are embodiments of our aspirations and our vehicles and partners that help us achieve our goal - the office, equipment, our staff, and our clients. We create rules and procedures that ultimately result to our desired brand of success. We consider rewards and punishments. We create fastidious operation systems to make the processes worry-free. We provide trainings in order for our people to be fully equipped even for the most demanding clients.

However, not everything follows our plans for success, especially when we talk about change. One of the biggest hurdles that every entrepreneur must face is implementing change in the company. Often, the new set of procedures bundled with the best intentions for the company are met with strong resistance and criticisms from its very people. Why does this happen?

First, it is because we have different perspectives inside the company. For owners like us, we prioritize productivity and profitability, to name a few. We assume that something is worth keeping if it produces an acceptable output. For employees, they consider their employment stability, workplace safety, respect, and convenience. This comparison is just one among the many, but it is with these differences that change is often resisted.

How do we properly effect change then? Change is important, especially given the shifting demands of the customers. Since most entrepreneurs do not have the benefit of highly paid HR personnel who could help in a critical change project, here are some of my advice for our fellow entrepreneurs facing this major dilemma:

Be open to your people's opinions. Resistance is not often an act of defiance. Sometimes it is just to point out positive adjustments that will allow everyone, or at least the majority to win. Probably, the reason why accounting is going against your plan is because they see it as unsustainable, given the company's financial conditions. Perhaps, the new process will physically strain everyone into exhaustion. Maybe the sales team does not agree because they have heard what the clients really expect from the company firsthand.

I am not saying that you must always succumb to others' perspectives, but rather to consider if they have a valid point. But resistance to change just because of inconvenience is another matter. …

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