08 June 2007

Vote with Your Feet

Ever been in an organization where after a change event occurs there is a constant back channel discussion about how the sky is falling? Ever participated in one of those conversations? Come on now, be honest!

There really is only a binary decision that needs to be made when experiencing a change event: either embrace the change or vote with your feet - that is get out if you don't like it.

Change is often accompanied by the unknown. It's human nature to expect the worst under conditions of change. So in the organizations I've led, I always suggest the following approach.

1) Give change a chance. Often times people react immediately to change. For all they know the change might be good or might enhance their career opportunities. So unless change hits you directly between the eyes (like in the case of being laid off due to a change), wait with a positive (or at least neutral) attitude to determine whether or not the change that is occuring is something you can live with.

2) Once you determine that you don't like the change (and you've at least given it a chance) vote with your feet. Get out. Or at least start the process for finding a new opportunity.

All too often employees choose a third path which is to stay and complain. When you stay and complain, you've got no one to fault but yourself. Complaints feed upon themselves. They foster an environment of resentment. And they don't lead to any positive results - either for the individual or the organization.

So either embrace the change ..... or vote with your feet!

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