What Drives People to Change?

In my experience, people change for their own reasons. For the most part, there are three primary reasons for why people make a change. While these three reasons may be different, they are not mutually exclusive.

  1. Change is forced upon them by a competitor.
  2. Change is created by an internal desire to achieve an outcome.
  3. Change is required due to obsolescence.

This past week I had the pleasure of spending the week with a Sightpath Sales Representative traveling in his territory and visiting with both current and prospective clients. Our clients are eye surgeons and their related facilities.

I’ve written before about a trend in our industry towards patient pay services for refractive cataract surgery. This shift is happening, it is not going away and I am interested in the various ways that I see people in the industry responding to it. I have arrived at the conclusion that success or failure in the new market of ophthalmology is like so many things in life, it comes down to attitude.

An easy conclusion to jump to is that the reluctance to change is correlated to age. I don’t believe that it is. What I think is that is closely linked to satisfaction with one’s current environment, regardless of age. It is from this premise that I believe it all comes down to attitude. Sort of a “constructive discontent” as I’ve heard it called before.

Closely linked to attitude, is the willingness to do whatever it takes to enact the change that one seeks. I see situations where a physician wants the additional revenue generated by launching a refractive cataract surgery program in their practice and are not willing to do the business related work required to introduce a new product or service.

I don’t blame them, it’s hard work. I know because in my career I’ve launched many different products and services. The work required is immense, the guarantee of success and payment for the work is absent and the fear of failure can be crippling.

What is also true is that change will happen whether we like it or not. There are some of us, like me, who are sort of “Change Junkies.” I don’t mean that in a bragging way, because it’s somewhat of a curse both for those whom I love and work with. For me, if things aren’t changing I feel like they’re going stale. Like the saying goes, “a rolling stone gathers no moss.”

Getting back to why attitude is important when it comes to change. I say this because sometimes the only way that I have to respond to change is to adjust myself to what I know is going to be an unpleasant situation. That’s okay because if i stay engaged, learn from the experience and move towards my goals, I’m winning! And if I’m on track to be where I’ve imagined myself going then all will be well.

I’ll write more about “goals” in future posts because I believe that the ability to define, articulate, plan for and achieve goals makes enacting change a snap.

The next time that you’re up against a changing situation, think about what’s driving the change in the context of the three “buckets” that I wrote above. Then, make sure that your attitude is positive, open and aligned with your goals.

 

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