The power of change

The power of change

“You’re perfect. Don’t change a thing.”

This is what I would tell my more successful competitors (in order to pull ahead of them). So, you are number one in your comp set. Why change? That’s what IBM said, and the company almost failed before Lou Gerstner took the helm and put his complete focus on culture. A&P was the leader in the retail grocery business. They just filed for bankruptcy. Kodak? Just joined them.

I love Mark Sanborn’s quote on change: “Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.”

It was out of this thinking that I created a business to do just that for hotels. But here’s the thing about change: Change the way you go about change. As Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” So how to create new thinking? Start with new people. Experience can hinder ideas as much as it can advance them.

I am cultivating distinction in a hotel in Scandinavia with my “No Ordinary Moments” program. We not only had the steering committee types in the room, but also enthusiastic employees from every level of the organization. Their involvement in transforming ordinary processes into extraordinary experiences was awe-inspiring. They will drive the experiences because they participated in creating them. 

Here is the takeaway: Everyday job descriptions and education levels do not take into consideration the innate gifts of people. There is a vast potential for them to soar beyond what these indicators would have you think. By recognizing gifts from hiring on, you can liberate intelligence, wisdom, creativity and new possibilities. 

You can’t have a front of a hand without the back. You can’t have spellbound guests without positively charged employees. Nothing generates positive emotion in employees more than being seen for their value as a human being versus just being part of a labor force or another “human resource” (yuck). The ability to change and grow will be easier for them because of their willingness to change how they strategize.  

I think change must be the only constant in the universe, yet we resist it fiercely under most conditions. Speaking of not wanting to change, I am reminded of the response in 1927 of a major movie studio head to the idea that sound can be introduced into movies. Harry Warner’s response was “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”  

As my martial arts teacher always says: Change with the change.