Friday, October 24, 2014

Steps to help embrace change in your business

Brodie Krause,
IT Manager
In June of this year, Microsoft released the Surface™ Pro 3 tablet computer. Earlier this week, I read a headline that mentioned Microsoft releasing the details of the Surface Pro 4 – less than 6 months after the release of their previous version. Every month there’s a new cell phone released, soon to be replaced by the next one. We live in a culture of change, and our society thrives on the new and the improved. So, why is it that the one place we are reluctant to embrace change is in our business practices? We still rely on the way it has always been done instead of looking for ways to do it better.

Did you know that the fax machine was first patented in 1843? That’s not a typo. Before the Civil War, fax technology became the next big thing. And today, 30 years shy of 2 centuries later, so many of us still rely heavily on the technology. I’ve recently begun converting our company from traditional faxing to electronic, and it is amazing to see people embrace the change.  Before we began, the question was “What’s wrong with our existing fax machine?” But as I show people how to use the new system, that question has changed to “I can really send a fax from my cell phone?” or “I don’t have to physically be in the office to see the incoming faxes?”  It seems so minor, but in the end, it’s going to save time and money, and enable us to respond to our customers’ needs with flexibility and agility. This is just one example of the ways we can innovate and update, not just for the sake of change, but to break certain habits, in this case a 200-year-old habit!

So how do you move forward?
  • Step one, identify the problems or shortfalls with the way things are currently done. 
  • Step two, research the alternatives. Find out what new technologies exist, and how they can improve upon what you found in Step one. 
  • Step three, put it in to action. Step three is tough because it is that pivotal point where you move from talk to action. Expect some hiccups, but carry it through. 
  • And finally, Step four, evaluate the impact the change has made. There’s no denying that change can be scary, but to refuse to innovate is to remain static in a dynamic world, which only limits your growth opportunities.
 
This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

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