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Managing Change for ECM (Part One)

You’ve got an excellent idea for your Laserfiche system; it will save time and money and ensure accuracy. It involves using Laserfiche. While you’ve received buy-in from your department and manager, you must achieve approval from other departments. Change is complicated, so we’ll be writing this as a series.

Change is hard. Forbes ran a survey and cites that 70 percent of organizational change (such as software adoption) fail. Seventy percent, that’s pretty daunting! How does it happen? Usually, one of two reasons:

  • There wasn’t a problem to solve, or staff didn’t think it was a problem.

  • If there was a documented problem, stakeholders didn’t know the proposed solution would work.

Market and sell your idea

What’s a Laserfiche fan with a great idea to do, then? Critically, work to ensure buy-in of all parties, understand their views, and help create an environment for lasting change.

First of all, the problem you are trying to solve needs to have legs, as they say. If others aren’t affected, they won’t buy-in. Here are some tips for selling your idea:

  • Exercise your empathy skills by presenting the problem to emphasize how it affects team members. The response you are looking for is, “Oh, it’s challenging and needs to be fixed. If you have a fix, I am all ears.”

  • Your manager, however, will need different reasons to support change if you can tie the problem/solution to improving ROI, increasing productivity, improving client satisfaction, or connecting it to the goals and objectives of the entire organization.

  • It is critical to listen to your colleagues after you explain the problem. Do they have a different view? Does their feedback include issues that you never considered? A short survey is a consideration. It seems to matter more if you ask for feedback and actively listen than if you use input.

Find sponsors

If you are the only person advocating for change, I’m sorry, but it will probably fail. Long-term and sustained change inside a company requires someone at the top to sponsor the change. A sponsor is someone inside the company, usually a manager or executive, who helps communicate, manage, and be accountable for the change. Additionally, they tend to be a trusted source within the organization with a good deal of social capital. In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell refers to these people as ‘connectors.” So find the person everyone listens to who is credible and authentic, willing to go the extra mile and secure them as your sponsor.

I hope I’ve given you enough to think about. In our next post, we’ll discuss communication and implementation.



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