JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

28 March 2019

How can you change? How can you transform? It’s pretty easy to think about how other people should change, but how about yourself? A few months ago, the new year began, and we thought about ways to transform ourselves. What was your New Year’s resolution? Maybe you wanted to try and eat better or Marie Kondo your closet? As Q1 comes to a close, let’s reflect. Did you accomplish the change you were hoping for? If so, was it easy?

Instead of a resolution this year, I opted for a promise to practice more acceptance. As opposed to trying to have control over everything, acceptance is a sure-fire way to relieve some stress and be grateful for all I have. Now that we are three months into the year, I can truthfully say that acceptance is at the forefront of my mind. At first, it was difficult to change my thought processes. When I’d feel emotions coming to the surface that were at odds with acceptance, such as annoyance or agitation, I’d have to be mindful of my promise. Change, especially in your thought processes, is a difficult and daunting task. But it can be done.

“I believe if we could interview a caterpillar as they transform into a butterfly and ask them how it feels, they would tell us it is excruciatingly painful.” – Alexis Rose

In the business world, change can come at an even more difficult and seemingly Sisyphean pace. In big organizations, it may seem impossible to find out who is authorized to make a change at all. In small organizations, whether or not change will happen can depend on the people in charge. They may have their own fears or reservations about change.

Have you ever heard these phrases, “We’ve always done it this way?” “If it aint broke, don’t fix it?” Who gets to define broke? Is it a collaborative effort or one man’s opinion?

Case in point: This infographic from Tech Evaluation Centers indicates that:

  • 50% of ERP implementations fail the first time around.
  • On average, ERP implementations take 30% longer than estimated.
  • Regardless of deployment method, most implementations cost 3-4 times what is budgeted.

Kind of sounds like that last repair I did on my home. That repair and those ERP implementations pit acceptance against control. Do we really have any control? If so, how much? What’s the balance between control and accepting the things beyond our control? Darned if I know. But that balance is crucial in a healthy relationship with change.

Change can feel pretty grim when you’re in the midst of it. But if we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we keep our legacy systems, we may not have the level of security and flexibility we need to accommodate changes in technology and our business requirements. If we keep our legacy thought processes, we could continue to feed negative emotions because accepting the status quo is easier than accepting the necessity of change and relinquishing some control. The cost of both of those things is opportunity.

Stagnant or dynamic? Accepting or controlling? The choice is yours.