Change for the Future
The beginning of a New Year brings with it the tradition of New Year Resolutions. It is often the case that they are decided upon without any real consideration of the changes that will need to be made, and the effort involved in order to keep them. It is estimated that over 80% of people who make resolutions have failed to keep them by the end of the year.
So it is worthwhile to consider the concept of change and how it can be successfully achieved, especially when it comes to choosing new processes and software tools in our businesses. Resistance to change, looking only to the past and the present, means the future will remain the same or will happen without us. This is the meaning of a quote taken from an address given by President John F. Kennedy on June the 25th 1963 in the Assembly Hall in Paulskirche, Frankfurt in Germany. “Those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”.
This is particularly relevant in the business world where new technologies, process methods and behaviours are occurring at a never-ending pace. Existing processes and procedures, including the software we use, can become legacy, familiar, appear safe and secure but lead only to obsolescence. If change is not continual where required to keep up with the pace of developments, then businesses that continue with entrenched concepts and processes, will in most cases, be left behind, becoming less and less competitive.
The stress factor or resistance to change only occurs when it has to be embraced due to neglect or urgency in order to survive when forced upon a user or business without proper transition or communication. But the exciting thing about change and adapting to new developments is that they can lead to greater possibilities and growth, on a personal and business level. Seeing the positive that change can bring, that change is good, encourages and enlightens all involved in the process. Special consideration has to be made to employees fearful of change and their attachment to their own comfort zone. Reassurance, empathy and patience in these cases is required.
A business staying at the forefront of technology and developments demonstrates to customers that the business means business and is looking for the present and future success and growth. This inspires confidence to any prospective client. But it also encourages the employees because they too will benefit from increased skill levels and experience. With the better working practices and the correct software tools, the monotony of everyday tasks can be reduced.
So how do we achieve good change? Change is the result of a planned analysis of existing processes, methods and tools in comparison with new processes, methods and tools. Future requirements have to be considered so that growth can be achieved and tangible advantages have to be identified. When dealing with software, for example, the analysis involves, validation of legislative conformance, quality assurances, reliability and cost effectiveness with performance.
Then comes the implementation analysis, just how long will the transition from the old to the new be? What will be the level of training and how will it be provided, on or off site? Can the existing processes and tools be used in parallel with the new during the transition? What impact will the implementation have on the employees and how will the change be communicated?
After all of the analysis and discussions have taken place then the engagement of the change can take place. This involves positive communication. Identifying where entrenched working practices exist, in what department, and amongst individuals so that a tailored approach can be considered.
Good change comes from good analysis and the planned transition. It can be a challenge, it can excite, encourage growth and lead to amazing things. It can ensure that the future will not be missed. So for each new year let’s be resolute when it comes to change.