Why is Change so Hard?
Change Management is Difficult for Many Organizations.
Think of a time when you implemented a new piece of technology in your office or at home, whether it was software, hardware, or even something as simple as finally switching to the latest version of your operating system that you’ve put off updating until you had to.
That leap from old to new was hard. Maybe not literally in the sense that the act of incorporating a new ‘something’ was difficult. Rather, it was making that initial change — going from your old ways to brand new ones. Perhaps even ways that were completely foreign to you or outside the scope of everything you’ve done previously.
Adding in a new piece of software, for example. Maybe an innovative accounting program because keeping track of your accounting data through spreadsheets isn’t efficient anymore. You (or your colleague in accounting) have to shop around for an alternative to replace your disorganized spreadsheet system. Sometimes it takes sitting through online demos from different companies, creating trial accounts to emulate real day-to-day practices, or evaluating the different price tiers from each one – to ultimately make the right choice of software that will improve your accounting procedures.
After all of that, you then choose the best accounting system based on your needs. Great, right? You purchase it, you plan for the onboarding and training for yourself and/or your staff, and now you’re about to make tracking all of your company financials so much better.
However, when you start to use this new software, you soon realize that it’s not quite doing what you want it to. There are questions you can’t answer. You thought it could complete functions based on your initial investigations, but you come to learn it can’t do them or complete them as you expected.
These struggles are not because you didn’t do the proper research or analysis when shopping around for the accounting software you needed. Still, because you’re thinking back to the old way you did things—you’re conditioned to revert to previous behavior without even realizing it. That initial change you have to make at the start is challenging.
At 45Drives, we went through something very similar. Recently, we put a new CRM system into place; a changeover from our own internal, purposely-built program that acted as both a CRM and an ERP system. Over the years, as the company evolved, we outgrew that system. We needed to make a change after almost ten years of using a tool that wasn’t meant for the job.
But Stephen, an Account Manager here at 45Drives for almost ten years, really felt the pains of transitioning to a new system the most. A bit of a double-edged sword situation unfolded. Our old system didn’t work for him. He often complained about where it fell short for 45Drives’-specific workflows. He was aware that there were better systems out there. Yet, Stephen just accepted our old ways of doing things — he made it work with what we had in place because we weren’t in a position to start thinking outside the box.
As we began to hire more Account Managers and grow the 45Drives team overall, Stephen was no longer the only person voicing frustrations. We shifted to a whole team of Account Managers whose productivity levels were being hindered by this internally built CRM. They told us that it was like being given a toothbrush to wash the production floor — yes, it worked, but it was hardly the right tool for the job. We had to find a more suitable ‘tool.’ And we did, through our new CRM system integration.
There was a big adjustment period with a lot of hiccups that we weren’t necessarily expecting. Not because we didn’t plan properly, but because it just doesn’t always go perfectly. Even when you consider all of the possible outcomes of making that change, unexpected challenges can still arise. In Stephen’s case? He understood that this new system was going to improve his workflow. He saw the value in all of its amazing features that we didn’t have previously or that we had to create on the fly haphazardly, but his routine was disrupted. He had unknowingly become accustomed to a routine even though he criticized it for its redundancies and inefficiencies.
Does any of that sound like a familiar situation to you?
That’s because change is hard for most of us. No matter what it is.
Even buying a new storage server. We see these apprehensions and struggles happen a lot regarding our products. The price point is well below those of legacy vendors. Our support service is unmatched. Open source technology gives you unimaginable freedom to change and adapt your storage infrastructure to suit your needs; however, companies are okay paying more money for less than desirable solutions despite all of that.
Why? Familiarity. That’s what it comes down to.
It’s hard to get rid of the “no one got fired for buying IBM” mentality. Buying a new storage infrastructure can be difficult to do in large companies. Creating plans around new IT systems and frameworks usually requires vision, large budgets, and possibly even new hires with special talents to ensure the installation and maintenance are seamless.
It’s not an easy thing to do. And it will take some time. But here at 45Drives, we can help make that transition as effortless as possible. Managing change doesn’t need to be hard.