Over the years, I have worked in many different industries and being a change agent is one of the skills that I brought into each position. Needless to say – change agents are not usually well received. Let’s face it, it’s comfortable when we create our own processes & systems within a position. To know your position so well that you no longer have to put a lot of effort into performing the duties, even during crunch times. Though this is a comfortable realm to be in, eventually complacency will set in and years will go by, and one day you realize the way you do things is now considered inefficient. Usually it’s pointed out to us by someone else. Because we fail to recognize complacency within ourselves. Instead we tend to convince ourselves that the way we are doing things is the best and as long as nothing or no one challenges our ways, then the system shall remain-no matter the cost. I include myself in that category because I have fell into that same mindset. Many years of hearing upper management executives recite the famous quote “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” which also means do not spend any time evaluating it, skewed the way I looked at change and growth. Though there is logic in the statement, when it comes to some things, this statement should never reflect a method that applies to processes, systems or procedures.
If certain ways of doing things are working, then by all means keep utilizing them, but also annually evaluate all of your processes/systems. Just because something is working, doesn’t mean it is the most efficient, productive, user-friendly, or whatever is the key driving factor for having the process/system in the first place.
As employees– take the time to annually evaluate your systems and processes. Look for opportunities to cut out repetitive steps, research new technology to help make tasks easier, analyze how your duties cross departments and collaborate with them to see if there are ways for both areas to improve.
Hopefully everyone in an organization has the same end goal – to do their job to the best of their ability, help others and the company to excel and grow along the way. Mitch Rothschild, Executive Chairman & Founder, Vitals ends his article Reinventing Your Company: 3 Aspects of Change That Are Essential for Growth with, “We have, however, reinvented how we work, in order to reach new heights. And that was always the goal.” That is ultimately the goal. If this type of mindset can be incorporated into an organization from the top down, it can only lead to growth in development, learning and an increase in morale. Which will eventually lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency.
Change is at the heart of growth. I encourage you to actively engage in seeking out new alternative methods and technology to help you in your position, but also the company as a whole. Change cannot be stopped-if we focus the energy that we use to resist on actively seeking out and embracing change-our skill sets, mindsets, and attitudes will grow.
Evelyn Howard focuses on business topics that include change management, process development and training. I hold an MSED specializing in Learning Design & Technology and consider my main focus to promote change, in both business and education, in the areas of training & development, teamwork, system analysis, and process design.