Two trends, one irony

Was talking with Teresa Rose yesterday, a prof at Waterloo, about the topic of change management. One theme that emerged quite clearly was that any change of process within an organization has to be undertaken with a great deal of care: questions have to be asked about what benefits the change will result in, and whether it will be worth the time and money involved.

Take collaboration, for example – there’s a bit of a bandwagon effect going on right now. Some firms are getting on it and not doing any kind of cost-benefit analysis before implementing nifty new technologies that aim to foster communication.

The irony is that the two processes seem opposed to each other. A company will ideally implement a change as quickly as possible to get its ship pointed in the direction it has decided it wants to head, but should only do so after taking the requisite amount of time to make sure it’s the right move.

Unfortunately for CIOs, there is no simple solution to the situation. The time has to be taken, yet the change has to happen soon enough for it to be utilized as a business differentiator.

It seems that the only path to success in change management is characterized by lots of hard work, long hours, and a great store of patience.

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