Doing something different! eBay managed to pay just £1.2m in tax against £789m sales!!… Breaking the law or ‘Changing’ the way of doing things?

Just to use this as an example for this feature, Back in 2010 the Sunday Times reported that eBay had £789m sales inthe UK alone, using worldwide profit margins in the region of 23%, the return should have been £181m profit with an expected corporation tax around £51m yet they only paid £1.2m! Morally correct? Ethically correct? No matter where you stand on this, issues will vary immensely but there is one clear process that has driven this and that’s the change of thought process. To coin one of those loved (hmm, or not!) business metaphors… This company have “Stepped out of the box” when it comes to normal route that is expected.

Consequently, they are making vast amounts of money due to the fact that they haven’t followed the norm and ‘Change’ is the critical element here. I am adept at understand business profit and loss sheets but I’m no expert in the financial market, however, I am when it comes to change/change management and much like the eBay story, some won’t like the outcome but the ‘management’ element of ‘change management’ is what’s important.

If you’re not happy with how your firm or business is going and can only see one direction it’s heading then you will inevitably reach that destination. As a saying by Siddhārtha Gautama goes “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading” so if you desire anything from increased sales, profitability, staff ratio, turnover per head, alternative markets to any other new or improved aspect of your current situation, then ‘Change’ is an absolute MUST!

The draw-back with change is getting others to go along with it harmoniously. I know the hard-line approach of “This is what’s going to happen, deal with it” as I’ve worked under those management ‘skills’ while moving up the ranks to director, however, if you want to bring others along with you and make the transition a lot smoother and you also need to establish the benefit of change and this is where great leadership makes a significant difference. Richard Beckhard developed a concept called ‘The Change Equation’ and realised that some countervailing steps were necessary, hence, his equation.

A = An attractive vision of the future

B = Some dissatisfaction with the present

C = Some practical first steps

D = The pain involved in changing

The sum of A + B + C must exceed the value of D

Once you have established that change IS needed, then areas to consider further are:

  • Not only build a rational case but an ‘Emotional’ case for change too – Although ‘Managers’ are great at expressing the rational case, you need people with ‘Leadership’ skills to appeal to people’s emotional nucleus.
  • Ensure this ‘Leader’ or ‘Leadership Team’ are a prime role model for change – It is no good simply telling others simply ‘to do’, you have to have those in the limelight demonstrating the change too.
  • Understanding what impact this will have on those within the company or firm and spell it out – This is a fundamental prerequisite of what you are about to engage in. Let those that will be affected by it have transparent assessment of what the impact will likely to be on them. Negate rumours and instigate fact.
  • Embed the change as quick as possible – No one really likes change, we’re creatures of habit so make the change swift and ensure you don’t celebrate too soon… if something’s not right, this will be used as a lever to prove the old way was better. Get people involved with ‘how to implement or improve’.
  • Let the people take the ownership! – Most of the time we ‘tell’ people and make changes ‘to’ them. Implement changes ‘with’ them or, better still ‘by’ them. Allow a sense that they are involved with this change and not a by-product of it.

Coaching to Success have helped firms/companies and the people therein to move through change, to create a new business in times of austerity and succeed. Helped teams to bond and increase the output two fold over the sum of the individuals by getting them to work together through change… it’s taking the first step outside of your own confinement that’s the difficult one!

Coaching can bring people together and if this is an area you are looking to venture into, please take note of just a brief over-view of areas to consider and then take the next step by speaking to someone new and pick up the phone to call us to arrange a free consultation on how we can help, contact Neil (07761 187238) or throw us an email at… We’re here to help.

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