Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

The objective of change is improvement. Making a product, service or process better creates value. The products and services we use, our food, our environment, our communication tools, the number of options we have, and many other things have improved because someone decided to challenge the status quo and take on the risk of making them better. Surviving in a competitive world demands that improvements continue, but overcoming the barriers built to sustain the status quo is always challenging. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Making things better begins by defeating the fear of change. Conquering this fear requires curiosity and optimism to consider what is possible, confidence to assess the risk of change, and courage to act in making it happen. It takes leadership to persevere through this process.
     
  2. Making things better may imply that the current state is imperfect, which can cause some to object. Challenging the status quo disrupts precedent, including the bureaucracy that maintains it. It’s the responsibility of leadership to stress the goal of improved results over perfection, articulating the benefits of a change and addressing the presumed risks related to it.
     
  3. Making things better relies on leaders being committed to the necessity of change as the prerequisite of improvement. Progress takes leadership. If innovation and improvement are not part of a leader’s agenda, then that leader’s focus is preserving the status quo, which will eventually compromise the sustainability of the business.

Most employees seek to make a difference, to do work that matters, to make things better. Leaders provide the improvement opportunities that enable this, maximizing the contributions of their people and creating value for their companies. 

How do you lead to make things better?