Sunday, 7 October 2012

Change good?

Just watching a programme on TV about infrastructure projects. There was a clip on there of ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher saying that people shouldn't moan about change, they should be celebrating change and saying how Great Britain is.

My feeling is that Britain is great, but we shouldn't see those who disagree with change as being wrong or somehow un-patriotic. No-one likes change when it affects their 'back yard' in a negative way. But what about when the change is in someone else's back yard? Are we quite as sensitive in that case?

As people involved in projects, we need to be sympathetic to people's needs. People who are affected by HS2, extra runways, nuclear power stations, etc are all entitled to their views and they should be listened to as stakeholders. There are always ways to ensure as many people are on side as possible.

We also need to consider - are we doing the right thing in the first place? There is often the biased view that what we're doing is right, even though sometimes it isn't. We may even have nagging doubts about if we're really doing good.

So, as change begins at home...what am I going to do about it? Well, I am already on my way in terms of this. I always consult the customer widely on proposed changes, but I also sell the concept of Business Analysis at all levels. This means that I seek to look at the existing process and find out how to improve it using the customer input.

What about massive changes? Well, I think that changes like that have to be approached collaboratively and I also think there is usually a middle ground between the two extremes - it's usually just a case of trying a little bit harder to actually find a practical solution that suits everyone.

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