People Hate Change – So Force Them

We’re all creatures of habit. People don’t like change.

This is part two of my three-part talk to Richard Turner (see part one here) about driving a more efficient business, people’s resistance to change, and personal productivity techniques. Richard is the CEO of Innovantage.

Steve: When we first started talking you suggested that people do not want to improve their productivity? But for me this makes no sense. Why would you not want to be more productive? Because productivity isn’t just about getting better results, it’s about creating time and de-stressing yourself. My assumption, probably wrong, is that everyone would want to be more productive.

Richard: Yeah. I’m the polar opposite of your view. I’m sorry to say. And maybe that’s an age thing or an experience thing.

Steve: So people are as they are?

Richard: People don’t like change. They want to do what they do every day the same way – and they want to feel very safe and comfortable and say, “You don’t understand what I do, so don’t try and change it.”

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But the reality of life is that technology is a leveller and we can provide technology to everybody for them to be more operationally efficient, to be time rich. The reality is they don’t want to do that because they don’t want to change what they do. And it’s a management issue, it’s always a management issue to force a new platform to be implemented. And that’s the biggest hurdle.

We sell lots of systems – the same software, the same platform, to every customer. Some extract maximum benefit from it, some see an ROI uplift within hours. Seriously. Some people see EBITDA go up by 10%, 15%. Some people see revenues go up. Some people see it all slow down and get worse. And it’s down to how they support that employee to adapt to that new technology, and show them the benefits, and ultimately – tell them they have to use it! Because we’re all creatures of habit. People don’t like change.

Steve: I completely appreciate your point, but it’s strange for me – because I’m addicted to change.

Richard: And so am I, and I’m disruptive with it. Sometimes I change things because they’ve just stayed like that for a few weeks and my business hates it, but it’s when you find the new opportunity, it’s when you find the new efficiency, isn’t it? Things we do every day, I sometimes say, “Let’s turn the bottom 10% off. Let’s not do it any more and see what happens.” 95% of the people around me try and fight that and they’ll say, “You don’t understand what we do”, or, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” And they’re killers in the business world aren’t they?

Steve: Yes, it’s the great 80/20 rule review!

Richard Turner is the CEO of Innovantage.

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