K IS FOR KAINOTOPHOBIA!
Kainotophobia is the fear or resistance to change. Director of the Resident MBA Program Dr. Frank Pianki, who alo teaches a course in the MBA Program about change, explores the general principles here.
Change is a topic that can be difficult to understand. There are a few basic principles of change that can help explain why people fear change, and how to lead an organization through successful change.
The first principle of change is to understand your organization’s existing paradigm. These are the unconscious rules and regulations we abide by that give order to our world. For example, if you wanted to take out money at an ATM, you would wait in line for your turn. Why did you do that? No one told you to, and in some countries people wouldn’t. But here in the United States, it’s just the paradigm we operate in. Here’s another example. When you were a kid, many families had assigned seats at the dining room table. Who assigned them? No one, you just knew where you had to sit.
Although paradigms exist, and aren’t always bad, they can block us from making meaningful changes by acting as boundaries within an organization. If you can’t identify your paradigms, you can’t know what roadblocks you might encounter.
The second principle of change is identifying compelling reasons for change. Why are we making this change? Many workers who resist change know that they are currently providing value, but if the system is changed, they fear becoming obsolete. As a leader, you need to understand this fear.
Realize that there is a major difference between leaders and managers. Leaders lead between paradigms, while managers manage within the existing paradigm. Managers are system optimizers, but if you want change, you must act as a leader.
The third principle of change is trustworthiness. This is a major problem if you are unclear with your workers about what you are trying to do. If the leader of an organization doesn’t clearly articulate with the managers of each department, occurring, every manager will tell a different story. When this happens, workers start to question leaderships’ trustworthiness. Change is a litmus test of people’s trust in their leadership—testing trustworthiness of their character and their competence.
There’s a few more things to add to get a deeper understanding of change. First, change is an individual process, not an organizational process. It’s about how each person responds to the stress.
Another thing to realize is that resisters are not always a bad thing. In fact, there are many reasons you should be listening to them. They may know things that you don’t, and they may know why a process won’t work. And if you listen to them, suddenly they become part of the change process, which revolves around individuals.
Finally, keep in mind that change is a two-stage process. For example, think about a heart transplant. Sure, you make the physical transplant. But after that, you have many years of managing the rejection of the new heart. Change is like that. You will spend time dealing with rejection. This isn’t meant to dissuade you from making a change, but realize that you have to show it was worth it. Down the road, you have to be prepared to answer the questions: How are we better? Was this worth it?
L IS FOR LIES!
There’s a lot of misconceptions about business, education and MBAs, so today we’re tackling some of the biggest “lies” we’ve heard.
College degrees just aren’t worth the money.
First of all, college degrees mean substantial financial advantages, even for people who don’t use their degrees. In addition to the curriculum, job positioning advantages and financial rewards, you’ll make contacts—and networks—with your classmates, professors and alumni.
I’m not a business person, so I shouldn’t get an MBA.
MBAs were actually created for professionals with no business background. While you need a bachelor’s degree to earn your MBA, that degree can be in any discipline. Everyone is affected by business in some ways, and whether you’re a CEO or have never taken a finance course, you can pursue—and find value in—an MBA.
Business just isn’t an ethical field.
We agree that business ethics are often a foreign concept in today’s marketplace, but we don’t think business should be divorced from ethics. That’s why we have ethics classes, integrate faith and ethics into all of our work, and present servanthood as a viable style of business leadership.
Anderson isn’t a very good place to do business.
AU has a strong commitment to the city of Anderson, Ind., to promote economic development. As a result of this educational partnership, infrastructure development, and job growth, Forbes magazine has ranked Anderson as one of the top cities in the nation for small business, and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce has named Anderson its 2007 Community of the Year.
I work and I have a family, so there simply isn’t time to go back to school.
Most of our professional MBA students work full-time in addition to leading lives as parents, spouses, and community members. Our program generally meets once a week in a convenient location—Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Lawrence, Indy Northwest, or Anderson, and students can finish the program in 22 months.