We’ve all heard the term “Sacred Cow,” but have you ever wondered what it really means? It is a reference to the Hindi belief that cows are a sacred animal and carry the souls of relatives. They are therefore revered and not used for food. In business we often refer to people, projects, or systems as a sacred cow when they cannot be questioned, criticized, or considered for elimination.
In your business, some of the processes currently in use have become sacred cows and your team will adamantly resist changing them.
The reasons for the resistance are simple. First, your people will resist change because they have adjusted their own habits and workflows to the systems already in place. Changing those processes will require them to change. Second, many of the processes that are currently in use have been developed on the fly by the people using them – namely your people. They are emotionally tied to those process and suggesting that they are changed can imply in their minds that the work they did was not good enough.
Your new announcement to “systematize” or make the business more efficient will be met with skepticism. That’s why the first set of sacred cows you have to sacrifice are your own. There are many aspects of the business that are your baby. It’s something that you put your heart and soul into in order to make it work.
The great part of being an entrepreneur is that when you have a great idea you can direct your energy into the area that excites you the most. However, your entrepreneurial ADD may have taken you down the rabbit hole. Be open for your team, consultant, coach or mastermind group to put the mirror in front of you. Know when to swallow your pride and make a change in yourself. When your team sees you making the sacrifice, it makes it easier for them to place their sacrifices on the altar with yours.
Even though you’ve taken the lead and example of having a willingness to change and it will be easier for them to follow, it will still be difficult for many of them. It won’t happen overnight. In fact, the process of change never ends. The sooner the team realizes that and is willing to accept it, the more efficient your business will become.
David Bryant Mitchell is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five foundations of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.