Change Management Digitization Automation: changing thinking patterns - but how?


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To make our workflows more efficient, it makes sense to automate them. But change management can only be implemented if you even think so far. Practical tips.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Instituts Berufebilder Yourweb.

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Change Management in Germany: Euphoria vs. Euphoria refusal

In Germany, there are currently two groups, it seems to me: The progress of the euphoric and the refusal to progress. And the former simply can not manage to infect the others with their enthusiasm.

So yesterday I read a post about the Google Campus in Berlin-Kreuzberg, which was only planned and then prevented, and the resistance of the residents, which ultimately led to the project not being implemented. Of the Article presented the advantages of a Google campus in a rather euphoric way, but largely ignored the special Berlin situation of rents rising too quickly. If you have lived in Berlin for five years like me, you understand why the project had to fail.

If you want change, you have to change thinking patterns first!

It is simply not enough to ignore the inability of other people to progress: human brains can not be reversed at will, because other people often have completely different patterns of thinking than themselves.

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I got an impressive example of this the other evening: At Cologne Central Station I noticed an old, rather poor looking woman who was preparing to drag a cart full of bags and water boxes down the stairs. I asked, "Is there no elevator here?" The woman said no.

Better, simpler solutions take place instead of having the same problems again

In such cases, many people offer themselves as help for towing, because of health problems I have problems with it. I also knew from the logic that there had to be an elevator somewhere on the train track. And now that my connection was late, I went to look for it - and after a few minutes I found it at the very opposite end of the platform.

I asked myself two questions:

  1. Why can not Deutsche Bahn advertise its barrier-free entrances better and more clearly if you install them for a lot of money, even at such an important station?
  2. And why do some people not even think about making life much easier if they were just looking for a better solution? Instead, why would you rather stick to the arduous, old path, even if it's obvious that there are better solutions?

That's why change processes are complicated

Incidentally, I do not think that the woman was happier now, but rather annoyed. She probably thought she had walked down the stairs herself much faster. In this respect, one should also occasionally question his own motivation.

Apart from that, this simple example shows very impressively how complicated processes of change actually are in humans, and accordingly, I am now surprised that anything changes at all.

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When do automation make sense?

In addition, not every automation and change makes sense at all. One should therefore ask the question: When are automations really useful - and when not (more)? In my opinion, they are useful if they use us and save time as a routine. But they are no longer useful if they miss their goal and even cost us time in the worst case.

For example, with WordPress, you can set up shortcircuits for anything by default. For example, I set up a shortcode that shows the name of my blog. In practice it looks like this: I type [B in the text and it will Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® displayed.

When automations do even more work

So nice. I remember this shortcode well because I use it relatively often. For other shortcodes it is unfortunately not so. And for technical reasons, the structure is also different every time - for some, a = must be used, not for others. My personal tip for shortcode fans would be at this point: if already shortcode, then all the same pattern. But that's not the topic here.

The topic is that I actually need a short code list - and one more operation. Automations are a curse and a blessing at the same time. I also remember the many times I spend hours and hours on the Internet googling for automation for a small task - by that time I would probably have done everything faster by hand.

How much automation makes sense?

It also becomes problematic when any tool or service suddenly fails its service. For example, because the service is discontinued or sold. Or because the updated version of the program no longer fits the useful add-on. Unfortunately, this happens to me quite often.

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And then a heretical thought germinates in me: Perhaps automations and all these automation tools are not nearly as meaningful as we always think. Maybe one should sometimes just refrain from squeezing the last of efficiency out of his work routine and just take things easy. Maybe that will lead to more people getting excited about change?


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  1. Harald Hofmann

    In the case of changes, whether desired or due to development, the intensive and in-depth analysis is usually missing at the beginning - why, how, with what, who, where, impact - description of the goal.
    Further - who is involved in the analysis, besides the actors concerned, it is also those who are recipients of the change. The identification factor is significantly underestimated here.
    Another problem is that "slipped" changes rarely find support and will. In most cases, these change projects are also under considerable time pressure because the necessary changes / adjustments have been delayed too long.

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mr. Hofmann, I give you completely right!

  2. Niels Pflaeging

    Euphoric and refusenik. I think that's a blatant misdiagnosis. You might also say: It's a pretty prejudice. Since when do you have this?

    • Simone Janson

      It is perhaps too abbreviated to put it: It is the two groups that speak up the loudest, hence this impression. Unfortunately, the differentiated voices are then lost. In addition, media workers in particular are not exactly digitization-friendly - for economic reasons - so that actually not a day goes by without a correspondingly striking discussion somewhere. The most recent example is the fuss that is being made around this Rezo video and it totally irritates me how much attention this topic gets.

      • Niels Pflaeging

        Is it the topic or the quality of your input?

        • Simone Janson

          For me, that's the topic - why is it communicated on the Internet and how, what role the social context plays, whether and how that should be changed if you have a problem with it. The reactions to the Rezo video show very nicely that “she's naive / has no idea” is not enough and that those who have a more differentiated, more complex opinion on a topic would be better off doing it clearly communicate instead of just watching, as often happens, or only discussing with their limited target group.

        • Simone Janson

          For example, your online submissions have been leaving me some question marks lately, but I've explained that to you, you seem to be communicating very target group specific. Since lately I have been intensifying my efforts to maintain myself, what do you think of it, when we meet in person, a more comprehensive discussion is possible than here.

          • Niels Pflaeging

            Clear. Anyway, social media is not made for real dialogue, conversation, discourse. The real conversation has something! ;-) Sorry if things I posted didn't make sense from your perspective. It can actually happen sometimes. Because in fact you always communicate in a target group-specific manner, right? Unless you just post “popular quotes from great people” or something ...

          • Simone Janson

            Thank you. Maybe you are in the Rhineland and I are in the Rhine-Main area on the way and it fits for a meeting.

    • Simone Janson

      By the way, it is interesting, how many reactions a corresponding topic gets every time in the blog, the topic seems to move very much the mind.

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