Thursday, June 26, 2014

You Have to Invest to Get a Return



We don't have enough time.
I don't think we have the resources.

These are the increasingly common cries I hear from individuals and groups make about changes they want to make in their organization's culture or on a specific project, or when talking about new initiatives to explore.

And my increasingly frequent response (after offering some empathy for their plight) is one simple question: Do you envision that changing anytime soon? The answer is generally no.

So people have great aspirations.  But since they don't have the resources to do everything they envision, they opt to do nothing, leaving them feeling frustrated.

I get it. I really do.
I often feel the same way.

But here's the simple truth: we have to make in investment if we hope to get any sort of return. 
Doing nothing yields nothing.

Financial planners have long advocated the power of dollar-cost averaging: making consistent purchases of stock or bonds regardless of marketing conditions.  Over time, the average of those routine incremental investments often produce healthy returns.

But we want to time the market, buying low and selling high, both in financial terms and in change management.

It rarely works.

So here are two powerful change management investment questions we all need to ask routinely:
  1. What is the most significant step forward we can make right now with the limited resources we have available? 
  2. What are micro shifts in behavior, culture, process, etc. we can make right now that slowly will start to contribute to a different workplace and different ways of doing things?
You have to get in action if you want a piece of the action.
Start doing something, anything.
Start doing it right now.

1 comment:

Mark Alcorn, J.D., M.B.A said...

Well expressed. One step at a time. Even small steps. If one is not taking steps, one is not going anywhere...