When Does Change Happen?

StrategyDriven Change Management ArticleRecently, a client called to ask for help: she wanted her franchisees to add Buying Facilitation® to their sales skills so they could close more sales.

I sent them a couple of blog posts to help them rethink the differences between pushing a solution and first managing the change that a new solution would require. We then had a phone conference.

With a 2% close rate, these folks defended their current skills: by any rational standard they rejected the possibility of being more successful, preferring to maintain their status quo. Were they irrational?

I don’t believe in the words ‘irrational’ or ‘rational.’ Like all decision makers these folks made the best decision they knew how to make at that moment in time: they are being totally rational – within their unique system of beliefs and values. These folks are more comfortable with their status quo than they are with the prospect of change, even at the expense of more money and more clients.

What is Change?

Change isn’t just a matter of having a new thought, or adding a solution, or asking folks to take on different tasks because if people had agreed that something was wrong and knew how to change it congruently, they would have changed already. The environment people live in is the sum total of all of decisions to date.

Change requires that we somehow integrate the new with the decisions and behaviors we’ve already created and maintain daily. Until or unless we figure out how to reconfigure our rules, roles, relationships, and ego issues, we will take no action – even if it means sticking with something that’s less than successful.

Broken Change Models

No current change management or sales models handle this problem. Before you decide to change, answer the following:

  • What would you need to know or believe differently to know when it would be time to make a change?
  • What rules and roles and relationships in your current environment would need to be maintained in order to adopt change without disrupting the integrity of your system?
  • What is it about your status quo that would need to be addressed prior to planning change in order to ensure that anything new wouldn’t destroy what you already do successfully?

Because until or unless you can be assured that you can make a change that is integrous with who you are, and get the appropriate buy-in for change, you will do nothing.

The big question is: what sort of buy-in would you need? And how could you go about getting it in a way that would be acceptable and welcomed by the system.

About the Author

Sharon Drew Morgen is founder of Morgen Facilitations, Inc. (www.newsalesparadigm.com). She is the visionary behind Buying Facilitation®, the decision facilitation model that enables people to change with integrity. A pioneer who has spoken about, written about, and taught the skills to help buyers buy, she is the author of the acclaimed New York Times Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and the new book Dirty Little Secrets: Why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it. She lives in Austin, Texas.

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