Why do companies continue to pay by check? In part five of the series, “The Top 5 Reasons Why Checks Still Dominate B2B Payments,” I explore the challenges of corporate inertia and resistance to change.
Reason #5 - Corporate Inertia and Resistance to Change. Let’s face it, organizational change is difficult. For some, the risk of change exceeds the risk of maintaining the status quo. Employees can become complacent as processes mold into
routines (“we’ve always done it this way…”). Change forces employees out of their comfort zone. It is this uncertainty and fear that lead many to continue operating in the ways that they have become accustomed to.
Another significant reason for resistance to change is lack of understanding of the vision of a particular project. “What’s in it for me?” questions arise as employees wonder about the stability of their jobs, if/how their work will be impacted, and if
they will benefit from the change.
An organization’s track record with past projects can impact internal support. Past failures can lead to skepticism as projects are viewed as
change du jour. Employees may expect them to be short-lived.
Some will guard their prerogatives and their perquisites. For others, the predominant characteristic of their organization is risk aversion. And some employees may be supportive, but genuinely believe that they cannot possibly handle the new demands that
will be placed on them during the project.
In the medical world we are familiar with the phrase “minimally invasive surgery.” Along those same lines, it is possible to bring about change in an A/P department in a minimal way, and in a way that brings benefits without complications and inertia. Outsourcing
of payment execution, a non-core business function, is a project that can be implemented successfully without requiring dramatic change and without fostering the types of resistance that I describe above.
What about your company? Have you made attempts to eliminate non-core business processes? How successful have you been?