It’s not the progress I mind, it’s the change I don’t like.
It’s human nature to avoid re-work.
No, really, resistance to change is hardwired into our brains.
Marshall McLuhan wrote in the 1960s that we make sense of the world around us by evaluating things and deciding whether they are important, then putting a mental handle on that thing. We don’t continuously re-evaluate everything because that would swamp action. We would be so busy deciding if we liked the tie an announcer was wearing in a news broadcast that we would miss what they were saying… and whether it was important.
But this very useful ‘labeling’ behavior can backfire when we don’t take time to look at things again when we have new information.
Nothing lasts forever, most especially software.
But that’s not all bad. When you must go through the inevitable transition to new support systems you usually get some new features, but sometimes you get something that can change your life for the better. Try to maintain all your existing business processes and you can miss the new thing that makes your job easier, helps you serve your customers better or makes the organization more efficient and profitable.
Now I know you don’t want to spend your days constantly re-evaluating (we’ve all been in long planning meetings where nothing really changes). Still, you don’t want to miss something important–and to get that right you’ll need to revisit your goals.
It doesn’t need to be a long drawn out process—periodically spend a half-hour to reflect on how you can accomplish the company’s business better. Ask a few simple questions:
- What is the company trying to do?
- What do our customers want and how do they want us to talk with them?
- Explore whether a new technology has entered the market to help you achieve your goals and satisfy your customers more efficiently.
- Find some thoughtful people on your teams and take them to lunch for a discussion.
- Or, find a consultant that can facilitate a meeting and talk about bigger ideas.
Answer the Call
It’s a perfect time to have one of these conversations when it’s time to install new software or your systems are close to end of life. Even if everything is working well at a steady state, your customers and employees are changing their expectations almost daily based upon their experiences with Amazon, Apple, or even their dentist office.
There are some pretty cool new tools out there that can help your business step out of the box of “slow and steady” (remember, steadiness can be a good thing but not when it’s stifling growth). This includes software re-imagined by smart people who started by asking questions like: “What are we really trying to do?”,” How can we do it better,” and “Will it make people’s’ lives better who use it?”. Sound familiar?
So now it’s my turn to ask a question. What could your company look like when your employees collaborate with the utmost efficiency and your customers engage everywhere – however, wherever and whenever they want?
An aspirational goal perhaps? Not so aspirational actually…you can do it today.