Dissatisfaction is the great divide between action and inaction.
Is your situation so untenable that you have to change? Are you pissed off enough with the status quo that change is not an option?
Changing directions or changing your team’s behaviors is very challenging, if not impossible, if they can find comfort in the current situation. Comfort leads to complacency. And comfort leads to excuses and procrastination.
D x V x P = △
Jeff Noble shared an excellent equation on change management with me:
Dissatisfaction x Vision x Plan = △ Change Potential
Jeff is a Senior Advisor with BDO Dunwoody, and he guides business families through transitions and successions. Successions create a great deal of upheaval, and a family’s ability to adapt and change is a clear predictor of their success. If they cannot, or will not, change behaviors the succession may fail.
Jeff finds a high degree of D, dissatisfaction, is necessary for change to stick.
Try the equation on your company:
- Vision: Rate on a scale of 1 to 10 your company’s 3 year vision. 10 is a well defined vision and everyone knows where you’re heading, and 1 is no vision at all.
- Plan: Next, rate your plan on a scale of 1 to 10. Do you have a clear plan to achieve your vision?
- Dissatisfaction: Finally, how satisfied are you with the status quo? Is your business stable and successful? If so, give yourself a low number between 1 to 4. If you’re dissatisfied with the status quo and find your situation must change rate yourself between 7 to 10.
For the sake of this exercise, let’s complete the equation for a sample company, ACME Corporation.
ACME is doing pretty well at the moment. They have a clear 3 year vision, and rated themselves 8/10. They’ve been working with an outside advisor, and have a strong strategic plan. They rated themselves 9/10 for their plan. And the business is doing well right now. They scored dissatisfaction at 2/10.
When we add up the equation we get
(2 x 8 x 9) / (10 x 10 x 10) = 14.4%
ACME’s Change Potential is 14.4%. That’s pretty low. They’ve got a great vision and plan, but their satisfied with the status quo. They may not have the drive to break what they have and make the necessary changes to achieve their 3 year vision.
The status quo is your enemy. Comfort is your enemy.
Company’s that continually grow and achieve greater and greater feats are in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction. They look around them, and recognize there is no other option but to change. They don’t view their visions and plans as opportunities. They view them as life or death.
Dissatisfaction drives change. Don’t take satisfaction as an answer. Make dissatisfaction your task master.