Written by:

Grant Yuill

Head of Marketing & Customer Engagement

Why would your staff be willing to adjust if you don’t?

You know that your law firm must continue to be as flexible as possible if you want it to succeed in a modern legal industry. To survive, you must launch new items, update your business practises, and prepare for new competitors. Yet, if there is enough resistance to change among your team or partners, it could be challenging for you to implement and accept these adjustments.

When it comes to change management, what resources do you use to overcome resistance to change and maintain the most significant level of adaptability in your business?

Organisational inertia and resistance to change

Resistance to change can appear in many different ways. Every so often, a single person is to blame for delaying potential progress because they are unwilling to adapt or feels uneasy about making a change.

Sometimes the decision-making process involves two persons, yet they cannot agree on a course of action. Other times, the opportunity to transform never comes- if there is no sense of urgency since the company isn’t seeking fresh approaches to adapt.

Organisational inertia, in whatever form, will prevent your business from realising its full potential. What can you do to cope with it then?

Creating a culture of flexibility at work

The idea of change will be more readily accepted if creating an efficient working culture is one of your main priorities. To develop a flexible attitude in your staff, introduce and promote important cultural norms and values. The most straightforward way to do this is to include ideas like flexibility and adaptability in your list of essential business values. Of course, you’ll need to go a step further and deliberately hire flexible and adaptable people if you want to see a practical gain from these changes.

It takes time to transform your organisation’s culture; unfortunately, resistance to change may get in the way. If you’re trying to change a company’s culture that has already been in place, be patient.

Overcome bureaucracy

You may also add additional flexibility by eliminating any bureaucratic systems that are slowing down your business. Bureaucracy has some advantages because it is a system created to reduce risk. Unfortunately, many business owners soon discover that bureaucratic procedures are a waste of time and strongly favour the current system.

Here are some methods for reducing bureaucracy:

Take decisions more quickly. To make judgements more quickly, choose a method. Make the choice right away rather than delegating to a committee or delaying the decision for weeks to consider alternative plans. High-stakes decisions shouldn’t be taken quickly, but they also don’t require weeks or months of thought.

Simplify processes. Analyse your internal business processes to see if you can simplify them to make them quicker and less reliant on certain people. Can you reduce the time it takes between an idea and a change that can be implemented, as opposed to passing every decision up the chain of command or distributing ideas to numerous departments?

Give people the power. Think about giving the people on the ground more freedom in making choices and changes. Some organisations never undergo significant change because decision-making is severely constrained and requires approval from the top before being implemented. Companies with higher employee freedom and autonomy levels tend to be significantly more flexible.

Establishing uncomfortable new procedures

The main reason for organisational inertia is status quo bias, a cognitive error inherent in human nature that makes us cautious of anything unusual or unfamiliar. People’s personalities and inclinations cannot be changed, but by exposing your employees to unexpected situations more regularly, you can help them become more accustomed to them. If every member of your team is required to deal with something novel or unexpected on a daily basis, they will get much more used to dealing with larger and more important changes to the workplace environment.

Being a good example

Set a good example for your employees. Your staff members won’t feel motivated to adopt fresh thoughts or change their working practises if you follow the same daily routine and refuse to adapt. Your staff will be much more willing to adapt if you’re always trying new things and open-minded to all kinds of fresh ideas.

Giving specific criticism

Talk with team members who show a high level of resistance to change or lack flexibility. Sometimes just giving someone specific feedback is enough to influence their thinking or inspire them to be more open to future improvements.

No matter how adeptly they were initially planned or how much bureaucracy they have to deal with, change resistance is something that all businesses must cope with. You can, however, overcome change resistance in your business and make way for increased agility if you have the correct set of techniques and enough determination.

Start making a change 

If you are a legal professional and you are thinking about changing your legal case management software, reach out to us. We can support you through the change process as we have years of experience working with law firm businesses like yours. Together we can take steps to ensure you make the right decision and create effective change within your business.

Make a change today by clicking here. 

Alternatively you can email info@denovobi.com or if you would prefer to speak to us you can call 0141 331 5290.

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