Why we often fail the challenge of change

“If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done before.”Thomas Jefferson

In both our professional and personal lives many of us struggle with the challenge of change. Why?

Most of us know more or less what we would like to achieve and even how to make it happen, but when it comes to doing what’s necessary, we often fall short.

Let’s look at an example of a business that wants to achieve some important goals and significantly improve its results. First the leaders need to decide what they want to achieve and be very clear about that with all staff. Then they need to set relevant goals that are specific, measurable and achievable, as well as engaging and worthwhile. From there they need an action plan that outlines the steps people need to take to achieve the goals, then success will be assured, right?

Wrong.

If you want to achieve new goals, things you have not done before or that stretch you into higher levels of performance than you are used to, then as Jefferson said, you will need to do things you haven’t done before. This is the challenge of change; this is the reason many businesses fail to grow or improve their performance. Most companies have a vision and know how to set effective goals, and good ones know how to get their staff to buy into the vision and create an effective action plan. Unfortunately very few companies, small or large, focus on the most critical aspect of achieving success: ensuring that their people have the personal power to achieve the higher levels of performance that are required.

It is human nature to resist change, often until we are faced with no choice. To break through this resistance requires determination and effort, and application of all the powerful tools of the human mind and spirit. Those businesses and individuals who recognise this and underpin their goals and action plan with a focus on greater personal empowerment will win the day.