crossroads

How often is it remarked that “things are changing faster than ever before”?

When you think about our lives, things are changing all the time, in business as well as our personal lives. How long ago was a mobile phone just a phone? Within a relative short time frame mobile phones have changed so that they can take photos, access the internet, have apps that track our daily lives and yes, occasionally, actually still be used to make a phone call. I wonder what these devices will be used for in five or ten years.

Technology is starting to have more and more influence on our lives, and this is especially apparent in the workplace. I remember when a fax machine was an amazing piece of technology.

How things have moved on.

Some of this change is good for our productivity. If implemented correctly this technology can really be a boost to efficiency and profit. However, no matter what the promised potential is, if the change is not implemented well then the efficiencies can be lost.

It is important that the process of managing change is well understood before implementing. There are well documented human responses to change, such as anxiety and denial on one end of the scale right through to acceptance and happiness at the other end. Obviously when change is implemented the intention is to get the benefit as quickly as possible, however, if change is poorly managed, stakeholders may be stuck at the wrong end of the scale for too long. This can slow the change process down and cause secondary issues. If something can be quickly seen as a positive then the transition to happiness and acceptance can be quite short. It may only take as long as the announcement to be made.

If on the other hand, the benefits aren’t easily recognisable, poorly explained or the change is thrust upon stakeholders too quickly, then fear and anxiety might become present. This is not an ideal situation. There are however many ways that change can be approached so that stakeholders are well informed and feel part of the process. The more stakeholders involved the larger the process becomes. I doubt that change will ever be painless for everyone involved however that shouldn’t stop businesses aiming to make the transition as smooth as possible.

It might be that there are now three certainties in life; death, taxes and change. At least at Crowe Horwath we can help you with two out of the three.