Change is Good, Growth is Better
Processes and procedures are what separate a thriving business from one that struggles. When followed consistently, they allow for lower overheads in a business and provide predictable outcomes. Every business likes predictable, don’t they?
For years, corporate culture has taught us that a “successful” career was finding a steady job after we completed schooling and then stay there until our retirement. Companies were loyal to their employees, and employees to their companies. There were ladders to climb and pension plans to earn. It made life very predictable. But predictability leads to laziness, which leads to inaction. Inaction comes from a state of feeling “safe”. It is the opposite of change. If no one in the world changed, it would be a very boring place.
That corporate environment has now changed to the point that it has become expected for people to switch career paths multiple times in their lifetime. That is a far cry from searching for stability. The best companies to work for around the world are now trying to accept and encourage that statistic, but within their own walls. Management tracks are being created that will send an employee from sales to marketing, to finance, then back to sales again by the time their career is over.
Change is good, but growth is better
Encouraging this career change within the walls of the company is allowing these organizations to keep these high-quality employees longer. They continue to be challenged and rewarded as they move along in their careers. One of the largest benefits to the organization, is not necessarily that the employee is retained, but that the individuals grow.
In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell discusses what he calls the “Law of the Lid”. Simply stated, it says that your success level has a lid on it. You can only be as successful as your leadership ability allows. The same is true of companies and organizations. There is a lid that limits their ability to be successful based on their leadership team’s ability. How does this affect organizations that are moving employees along in varying roles? The process lifts the employees’ lids and therefore lifts the company’s lid. It is giving these companies the opportunity to be more successful and adapt because they are encouraging growth from within.
Leading change within an organization begins with encouraging change. This happens as a part of an employee’s development plan that allows them to think outside of their vertical career ladder and begin looking at other areas of interest. Ask them:
- What is your ultimate career destination?
- What knowledge do you need to have in order to be successful at that destination? What areas do you need to grow in order to gain that knowledge?
- What area of the company would you like to learn more about?
Change outside of the employee’s comfort zone doesn’t have to be for long, but it can be very powerful for their growth.
Change begets change
As employees within the organization become accustomed to changes that promote their own development, they will be more likely to encourage other organizational change. The exposure that they will receive to other areas of the business will allow them to have a more complete picture of what makes the business tick. When they have that, they will be able to make smarter decisions for the organization’s health because they know how any change will impact the other areas of the business.
The world is changing around us. The business world is moving at such a fast pace, it can be hard to keep up. Rather than fighting against that change, embrace it. Allow your employees to adapt their careers from inside the company, rather than creating encouraging them to look elsewhere. Allowing change is good, but fostering growth is even better.