How do you drive change in entrenched institutions?

If there’s one thing all of us in the CRE world deal with it is operations that don’t want to change.  They don’t want to move to the new site, they don’t want to give up their offices, they don’t want a new color on the wall.  Pushing for change is a core part to everything that we do.

The hardest change to drive is that with entrenched institutions.  Those groups that have been around forever and are considered untouchable by the business.  The groups that have power, influence and money and can block any change you try to bring them if they want to.  This is where we really earn our money and how we move a company for the good.

Driving change starts and ends with communication.  It’s almost like a broken record around here but it is fundamentally true.  No change happens without communication.  If people don’t understand why you are pushing change they will resist it.  If people don’t understand the benefit to them they will resist it.  If leaders can’t communicate the message with you then their teams will resist it.  If you don’t keep pushing the message they will all forget it and move right back to resisting.

Can we push through solutions without everyone on board? Of course.  But down that road lies productivity losses, turnover and discontentment.  Change is not good when it hurts the business.  In CRE our primary responsible is to be stewards of the business and push everyone in a direction the benefits the whole.  We don’t sell widgets but we give the people that do a place they can comfortably work from.  We don’t put the widgets into a box and ship them to customers but we do make sure the distribution center is correctly located and sized for everything that needs to happen.

It’s easy for the business to forget about the role of real estate because we try not to impact individual employees too often.  But there is value in what we do and if we work with the business and the institutions that drive the enterprise forward amazing things can happen.  When we don’t communicate and just hope for things to work out bad things can happen quickly.

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2 thoughts on “How do you drive change in entrenched institutions?

  1. You could collect your blog posts into a self help book if you just changed a few words.
    “If there’s one thing all of us in the world deal with it is people that don’t want to change. They don’t want to move to for a new job, they don’t want to give up their comfy lifestyles, they don’t want a new color on the wall. Pushing for change is a core part to everything that successful people do.”

  2. Ha! I love it but now I may owe you 5% of any future revenues of said book. Care to help edit?

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