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“This is not how we do it here” – Overcoming resistance to change

Whenever you’re trying to get a different result you need to change the way you do things. You probably know the saying: “Doing the same thing but expecting different results is the first sign of madness”.

How could it be any other way? Just because we wish and hope for a better result doesn’t mean we’ll get it. We need to do things differently. The same is true for productivity.

Change can be difficult. There are all the reasons we personally might not like change:

  • How do I know it will work?

  • I’ve tried doing things differently before and it didn’t work.

  • I’ve always done it this way.

The list goes on.

In an organisation you can come across resistance to change from all levels. Longer term employees will claim that this is how they learned to do the job, so this is how it needs to be done. Management think they know best, this is how the job needs to be done and staying late shows that you’re more committed to the job.

These types of mindsets aren’t easy to change. This is why it is important to involve everyone when you’re trying to make changes to how people work. Every person in the business needs to understand why things need to be done differently and how it will benefit them. Illustrate clearly that these changes are changes for the better of everyone not just better for the company.

Productivity is personal

Productivity is a very personal thing. What helps one person might not work for another one at all. It is important to have a variety of options to choose from, something for everyone, for every different learning style, for different personality types.

We all know the work needs to get done. To improve productivity, it is important to let people find their best way of doing things and stop micromanaging the how. This will not only help employees but also free up management to deal with higher level issues.

You can’t change everything overnight

Another important factor is doing things gradually. Improving personal productivity often means changing working habits. We all know how difficult it can be to change habits; it takes time. One of the best ways is to only change one habit at a time and make the change as easy and natural as possible.

Be open to suggestions

It also helps to embrace a culture that is open to suggestions. New employees will often see shortcuts and more productive ways of working. Have a system that makes suggestions easy, even encourages them. Japanese companies often follow the Kaizen system, the philosophy of continuous small improvements. This encourages and rewards suggestions for improvements from any staff member and these companies thrive.

Highly personalised productivity workshops

When running workshops for businesses, I make sure to get input from every single participant and find out their personal productivity issues as well as what they’ve tried in the past that has and hasn’t worked. This way I can personalise the workshop to the group, giving everyone at least one thing they can do to improve their working habits. Because of this high level of personalisation, workshop size is limited to 10 people.

If you’re interested in this kind of workshop for your business, simply email me at and we’ll set up a call to talk your particular requirement.


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