Friday, January 23, 2009

Change is NOT an Option!

We love this topic. Don’t we?

Everyone’s talking about ‘Change’. From jobs, careers, politics, education, automobiles, houses, vacations, leadership, blogs, companies, etc. – it’s becoming a common language everywhere. Yet, the real proof is in the 'end-result' of embracing Change! Many times discussions on this topic are left behind at the table, they don't see the light of the day.

You can’t really blame anyone. There’s a high priority given to get things done on a day-to-day basis. Transactional activities consume 90% of a person’s time at work. Honestly, no one cares for Change, unless it’s at a point where going ahead with work gets halted! Obviously, embracing Change for no reason is foolish! It should have a purpose, a definite cause for introducing it.

Change is all about Timing. Identifying that opportune time is a task most people don’t want to take up. An error is often treated with an air of “We’ll fix it for now and worry later” approach. The problem with that approach is that, the next person handling the issue will land at the same error and spend the same amount of time rectifying it!

Here’s a situation:

You have a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to ease HR transactional activities like typing out appraisal letters, various requests for HR related documentation, manage database operations, etc. The system is running smooth for a year. During the course of the year there was a repetitive error which got overlooked, assuming ‘someone else’ will handle it. Voila! One fine day the system crashes (due the error); hell has just broken loose at work! Everyone from HR to Finance (Off course!) to Engineering has advice on the next steps. The third-party vendor is called, they are given a deadline to get it fixed or else you go to the next best vendor. Believe it! 9 out of 10 times it just a threat! You want the system up & running ASAP!

Unfortunately, the vendor can’t fix the issue and you are forced to take up another HRIS application. The work has to start from scratch!! The Change has taken you by surprise, the clear vision you had just got blurred, no one has a clue on what next to do! A state of hysteria sweeps through teams…Change has just rocked the boat!!!

Come to think of it, Change at a very major level is often more acceptable. Like replacement at the senior management level, leadership changing hands, changes in company policy to accommodate latest legal procedure and more. The trouble starts when Change happens to day-to-day activities. Like having to alter the process of generating candidate offer letters, preparing new format for appraisal letters (you had used the earlier one for 3 years!!), getting used to a newer HRIS application, taking a newer route to work, even changing cubicles at work!!

So the next time you ever ask someone else to Change...Ask yourself a question: Am I ready to accept the consequence of Change? After all, you cannot always Control/Change the situation…You can only CHANGE YOURSELF!

- The HR Store

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi