Does not matter if you are 5, 15 or 50. Everyone knows this creeping moment in the middle of the night when you suddenly „feel” the monster under the bed. You know it’s not real but you will still pull your feet back under the safety of your blanket.
The reason is the unknown. You know this room like the back of your hand, every corner, every furniture, every color, but in the dark, it looks awfully different, it holds the possibility of something going terribly wrong.
Companies that has been around for a while, that has known methods, a consensual way of working, are tend to have their ways set in stone. No matter how tedious it is, they know it like the back of their hand, and the unknown future that comes with digital transformation is their monster under the bed.
Curiosity killed… my job?
„You just export the data from here, and then take this blank excel sheet, and copy the data in here. Make sure you make no mistakes, check it 2-3 times, and then compare it there, and you e-mail John if this one is above the target range, and message Carla if that one seems to be showing a decreasing tendency over 3 months.
For now you can find all the previous months in this folder, but if you do it long enough, you will just know and won’t need to check back. If all is done, just email the final pdf to the list shared in here, but make sure to double check it, it changes regularly.”
Of the above „job description”, every word can be automated.
Human workforce is one of the most valuable asset a company has – and still some people are just wasted away on doing monotonous data management, generating spreadsheets and nudging people to look at them. It would be great to instead have empowered employees that take actions on automatically generated spreadsheets and dashboards.
Nevertheless, you most likely face resistance when the monster of change is creeping in: people will just want to stay in the safety of their comfort zone, where things are unchanged and their job is safe.
The way we were
It does not matter if its about going serverless, automating processes, or even so small as having a new design in the application the whole company knows and hates loves. When the change is around the corner, you tend to forget all the million ways you complain about how things are not working, and remember fondly of the days when everything was „so easy”. Understanding and applying the most recent technologies is not only scary because it’s unknown. The most frightening part is that it changes things you’ve always done the same way. The things you know.
Your day-to-day life, the way of thinking and working, the foundations of your work processes are about to change. .
Is it really necessary?
Do we really need to fix something that is not broken?
We had a way to travel before trains, cars and planes came along. We had a way to communicate before the telephone. We had a way to store, calculate and manupulate data before computers and we had a way to share knowledge before the internet.
We don’t need the change. But we should want it.
Knowledge killed monster
Knowing the goal, the expected result of a change, the landscape after the dust settled, letting your people understand why the change is necessary and how will they benefit from it is one of the most powerful weapons against resistence.
Take the self-driving cars for example. They take the fun out of driving. They reduce you to a mere passenger, they take your control away, some people may never even learn how to drive properly, they can be expensive to maintain and they can even be hacked! Not to mention if something happens, all that mess with the insurance and liabilities. Who needs that?
But self-driving cars can potentially reduce the traffic deaths by 90%, the harmful emissions by 60%, the travel time by 40%, could eliminate traffic jams and would make travelling by car accessible for more people without risk (more information here).
Information is your best tool, and with it comes acceptance. And the easiest road towards that goal is working with companies, that put you first. Together you can decide what your working processes will be like when the dust has settled, together you can shape your own landscape.
And the monster shall be slayed