At least once a day I have an argument with at least one of my children regarding food. We sit down to eat and immediately the complaints begin. “I don’t like that kind of chicken”, “these noodles have yucky things on them”, “I can see green stuff in my soup”. Even if the kids select the menu they still manage to find something wrong with its preparation. Perhaps I’m a bad cook. I think the resistance to food is not necessarily about the food but rather an aversion to change.
Most of us avoid change. We find comfort in the familiar. We appreciate routine. However, if we become complacent then we run the risk of eating Mac and Cheese the rest of our lives. Quickly you can become out of date, replaceable, and behind the curve. Not only is your value diminished, but so is the organization you work for. Resistance to change isn’t just a characteristic of individuals, it’s also a trait of companies. Famous last words of a dying company are “This is how we’ve always done it”.
So how do we overcome this aversion? There are certainly actions you can take to develop yourself and your employees. For starters, show up to work. It’s astounding how many people don’t even show up to work. Showing up to work isn’t just physical attendance but also mental engagement. But aside from direct orders what can you do? Can you truly force people to develop their skills? If someone doesn’t want to take the initiative what should be done? It’s not as simple as blending the green beans into the tomato sauce.
Start by letting them select the menu. Challenge yourself and your team to create a 60 day development plans. Give your team 2 weeks to develop an action plan and then 60 days to work the plan. Provide the resources and funding for training and continued education. Suggest books, articles, and blogs. Most importantly, set an example. If I eat my broccoli my kids will be more apt to follow suit. If you’re taking courses, reading up on the latest trends, and putting these new ideas into practice, so will your team.
How do you focus on continued development?