Embracing Change

October 2016

Change is inevitable. It happens whether we want it or not.

Change is hard. It creates uncertainty. Uncertainty is, more often than not, perceived as bad when compared to what exists. Even positive changes take a long time to be accepted.

Yet change is occurring around us. Those that fail to change when everything else is changing get left behind. In condominium corporations, change is a constant challenge for condo owners, directors and property managers. Good condominium corporation choices lead to improved lifestyle and reduced costs. Poor choices lead to a declining lifestyle and increased costs.

A homeowner considers how change will impact on them and their immediate family of typically 2-6 people. A condominium corporation must consider the impact of change on hundreds of individuals.

Change is easy to avoid. Drawbacks of change tend to be magnified and benefits of change minimized. Change can be opposed by those with unsupportable philosophical arguments. Those opposed to change may construct financial and other justifications to avoid it even when the status quo is not in the best interests of the majority.

In condominium corporations, most every change that is good for the majority is likely to be opposed by a vocal minority. The reasons are many and usually based on faulty logic.

How we deal with change is the real challenge.

Effective condo boards recognize efforts to avoid change. They make decisions that are in the best interest of the majority in the face of vocal opposition by a minority. They push vendors to improve efficiency in ways that reduce condo corporation costs. They look at the high expenditure areas of a budget and find ways to reduce these costs. And they are not deterred by vocal opposition inconsistent with experience and best practices.

Ontario will soon have a revised Condo Act that will force change. For condo corporations that have learned to effectively adapt to their surroundings little is likely to change. Those condo corporations that have failed to embrace change will see the revised Condo Act as an intrusion on how they operate rather than a way to embrace change.