Still no transformation?
Today I did not find the coffee can in its usual place — on the kitchen table. Then I was surprised to find it on the shelf above my head — where we used to keep coffee until six months ago when I said: “Since I make coffee twice a day, let the can be on the table at hand.” It would seem that 6 months is enough time to form a new habit, but no, the mind didn’t even notice how the old habit took over. This is a trivial example, but I observe a similar phenomenon in business too.
Let’s say the founder has a clear vision of a radical transformation that will take the company from point A to the desired point B. Such a vision is an achievement in itself, since most players in any industry don’t have one. Unfortunately, it is not enough. For company behavior, which means employees, to change significantly, they need to voluntarily “buy” this vision. Which is possible if the vector of their personal development and the vector of the company’s growth coincide, as fellow travelers on some part of the road.
But the very fact that the company needs a reboot confirms that the old “modus operandi” has brought it to a dead end. That is to say, for years a team was formed of those who wanted to or were not against moving toward A. Even if someone secretly dreamed of B, there were only a few of them, and secondly, they had to adapt to the dominant paradigm of A or leave. It is obvious why transformation attempts so often fail — the majority outright rejects them, while the minority yearns for them with all their soul, but the learned inertia of behavior is already too strong. By the way, the founder is also human, and sometimes his actions (A) contradict his intentions (B), as the coffee situation illustrates above.
The only way to reverse institutional inertia is to create “islands of revolution” that will seduce, infect or inspire new behavior in everyone else. How? If you’re interested, I’ll tell you sometime.