I’m not sure anybody really loves the words ‘change management.’ To me, the process sounds painful and complex (although we all realize that nobody wakes up in the morning and says, “What can I change-up today to make things harder for myself and everybody?”) I do believe we often wake up and think, “We have got to make a change to make things better.”
Here at CampusLogic, we are lucky enough to help a lot of people make innovative changes to how they manage financial aid. Change is hard. But our customers know that while change is usually going to cause some pain points in the beginning, the improved results are worth it.
Three Change Management Tips You Need To Know
As VP of Customer Success, I’ve spent my career watching people implement change. Those who follow some simple best-practices tended to be more successful through change management.
#1. Be open to change.
Being open to change and willing to take the risk of failing is no easy feat. Hopefully when you are at the point of making a change, you’ve experienced enough flaws in what or how you are currently doing things that you’ve admitted to yourself there has to be a better way. We’ll often get to the point of saying there might be a better way, but being willing and open to change—committing to it—that’s the difference. The good news is, unless you are blazing new trails, somebody has likely walked the path before you and can offer advice on what worked for them.
#2. Let go of old ways.
You are making changes for a reason. Holding on to your old way of doing things simply because it’s all you know, it feels comfortable to you, or it feels scary to let go and try something new, really defeats the purpose of change. The schools that have been the most successful implementing with CampusLogic are those that jumped in with both feet—we’ve seen it first-hand. These schools pick a firm date for when students and staff will fully switch over to the new process, and they stick to it.
Keeping your feet on both sides of the fence (living half in the new process and half in your old, familiar, not-really-working process) is confusing for everyone involved. And it can cause a lot of headaches for you.
People who are used to doing things one way (also known as ‘the way we’ve always done it,’) will often choose to keep doing things the same old way because it’s comfortable. It’s easier, even if it doesn’t work. It’s not scary. Drawing a line in the sand between the old and new will help everyone transition.
#3. Know there is no perfect day to make the change.
Waiting for the stars and planets to align before you make a change? You’ll be waiting a really long time. There will never be ‘the perfect day’ to make a change, or start a new process. Something will always come up. Trust that you are doing the right thing and start making those changes.
I love seeing people take that leap of faith to start the new process in their office. And I really love seeing the benefits of their hard work pay off. Perfection of a process will prevent change from ever happening—trust me. But I can understand why people want to have everything perfect before they flip that switch. Any time I make a change, I think through all the possible worst-case scenarios. Then I think through how I would resolve each scenario, being honest about how likely it is to happen. This technique helps me work through any fears about making changes.
Innovation is impossible without change. “We love what we do and fix what’s broken,” is a CampusLogic Core Value. It means we’re always looking at how we can do things better, more efficiently. Being open to change, letting go of old ways, and knowing there’s really no perfect day to make a change are best-practices we embrace company-wide. They’re ideas that can help you smooth your road from ‘the way we always did it,’ to ‘the newer, better way of doing it.’
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