Why Is Change Important In Business?

What can produce teach us about change? Quite a alot, actually…

Grocery Town is a town where all the foods live and one potato rotted.  It was a slow death…first one small black spot and then mushy and then it began to stink to high heaven. Everyone  knew it—deep down inside the potato knew it was rotten. But, for some reason, the potato was the last one who wanted to admit it.

Why wouldn’t the potato admit it was getting sick? One black spot didn’t  mean the potato had to turn soft and die.  One black spot won’t stop the spud from growing if it was placed outside in new soil.

Our attitudes toward a position or task, whether at work or in our personal lives, can fluctuate. When you relocate and get a new job, in Grocery Town for example,  you are excited to sign on. You may be nervous—will I do well? Will I fit in? But soon you are welcomed into a positive grocery culture, given the appropriate training, and empowered to succeed. In Grocery Town, if you’re broccoli, you’re paired with cranberries and a light dressing. If you’re milk, you find yourself sharing a beverage cooler with lemonade and iced tea. If you’re a potato, you’re in a wonderful, cool dark place with the beets and radishes.

At first, everything is new and wonderful. Your office space is nice, your work is engaging. The fridge is clean. What often happens to us, however, after spending time in a position without change? It becomes stale. Broccoli gets droopy. Milk gets sour. Boredom sets in, and potatoes start to get black spots. Rot appears and soon mold is spreading from one crisper drawer to the next. In Grocery Town, it starts with a black spot on a potato.

We’ve all been there: What was once engaging and fulfilling is no longer so.

Something is stagnant. Often, we can’t even pinpoint what has changed to make us feel this way (often nothing has). Often, we can’t articulate what ultimately motivates us to be successful—growth, learning, the ability to contribute. What’s true for a potato is also true for us as individuals—one black spot won’t stop us from growing if we are placed in new soil.

Often we look to external factors to help us feel better. “If only I had this… If only management did that…” And this is important. Some of you are managers and leaders. And to you, I say, don’t forget to fertilize:

You have a responsibility to empower and engage your groceries. Pay attention when things start to get musty and, occasionally, don’t forget to clean out the fridge. 

But others are potatoes, the nuts and bolts of a substantial (albeit carb-loaded) menu. And to you, I say, pay attention to your interactions with the culture of your organization. Identify whether you are on-board with the overall goals and ideals of your company. When you get a black spot, be honest with yourself and acknowledge it: Is it simply a bad day or a rough week? Or is it the root (no pun intended) of something bigger? Something that will spread and hinder your ability to contribute effectively and give your best, most passionate gifts?

If it is the latter, consider the soil.


#leadership #growth #professionaldevelopment #changemanagement #leaders #managers