If it ain’tbroke, don’t fix it

When I was younger, I would often think that if something was not broken, what reason would we have to fix it?

I am sure many of us have said this at some point in time and truth be told, it can be relevant and very true.

Somethings just work well the way they are.

Fast forward a few decades and I will say that most processes I have either inherited or been involved with have indeed been broken and needed fixing.

This is completely normal and I 100% expect it and I don’t judge of fault people for this.

Even a good process can have process drift after a few years.

Again, I 100% expect this and it is ok.

Now, if we endeavor to fix something that is broken, aside from recognizing the reality, fixing means changing and we all know that not everyone is open to change; I sure was not in my younger days.

And, as we all know, there can be a lot of resistance to change. There is an entire industry catered to this realm.

And yes, it can be hard to navigate.

As such, I thought I would share some comments I have heard over the years that you might be able to relate to and just one idea on how you might respond.

These are somewhat classic approaches and not necessarily outside-the-box thinking, yet sometimes classic is a good place to start.

"We've always done it this way, why do we need this now?"

Acknowledge the value of existing processes but explain how the change can enhance efficiency, productivity, and outcomes.

"I don't have time to learn something new."

Highlight the long-term time-saving benefits of the new tool and offer training and support to minimize the learning curve. For example, if the training is one day, that is 7 hours. If by using the tool you can save 1 hour a week, that is 52 hours of time saved with a 7-hour investment.

"It's too complicated."

Provide user-friendly training, documentation, and support to make the tool more accessible. For example, create simple step-by-step checklists.

“I'm not tech-savvy."

Assure individuals that training, and support will be tailored to their skill level and provide resources for building tech skills. Talk about other similar cases whereby people who were not tech-savvy also were able to learn and use the tool.

"What's wrong with the current system?"

Explain the limitations of the current system and how the new tool addresses these issues. For example, everything is on paper, everyone is doing it their own way, steps are being skipped or missed, or nothing is documented and when they leave, all the knowledge goes with them.

"I don't trust this new technology."

Address security and reliability concerns with evidence, certifications, and user testimonials. Testimonials coming from within the organization can be very useful. Show the benefits, don’t just talk about them.

"It won't work for our specific needs."

Show how the tool can be customized or integrated to meet unique requirements. Ask them what their needs are, can they document them and then we can cross-reference.

“It's just a fad."

Provide evidence of the tool’s track record and long-term viability. This can especially be useful if it is a tool that is commonly known and used in the outside world.

"This will cost us too much money."

Present a cost-benefit analysis, emphasizing long-term savings and Return on Investment as was shown in a previous example.

"I'll lose control over my work."

Clarify that the tool is to enhance decision-making and productivity, not replace it. The tool is yours to use and can be customized to your needs.

"We weren't consulted in the decision-making process."

Acknowledge the oversight if it is true and involve employees in future decisions and customization. Lessons learned are valuable, we hear you.

"It's too disruptive."

Explain the phased implementation plan and provide ample support to minimize disruption. Clarify expectations especially if the learning curve is expected to be long.

"The learning curve is too steep."

Offer comprehensive training programs, video tutorials, and ongoing support to ease the learning process. Acknowledge the learning curve is long and that is ok, we understand that and only a few people will be expert, most will be intermediate.

"I prefer paper-based methods."

If the tool is digital, highlight the benefits of digital processes, such as reduced errors and faster access to information, accessibility from anywhere.

At the end of the day, the person can have a say in the change or be a passenger as change is inevitable.

Sometimes, even when it ain’t completely broke, it can be made better yet people need to live and see and feel that benefit.