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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Turn And Face The Strange)

Well hello there! Did you know that people often freak the eff out when things change? Even if the change is a Good Thing, like when months of road construction finally end (not on I-35...don't be ridiculous), or a promotion at work happens, the knee-jerk reaction is to rebel! It's just the way our brains work. We generally like routines. Anything outside of the routine is The Worst and should be rejected/ignored/undermined/complained about until it stops happening.

I Just Can't Want To!

change is coming whether you like it or not
It's gonna happen either way, might as well embrace it!

It's pretty fascinating how our minds process change. It's essentially the same way we experience grief: denial, anger/resistance, depression, bargaining and finally, acceptance.

Let's put this whole thing in a business context, shall we?

The all hands on deck, roller coaster ride of starting your new business has finally settled down. Things are going well. Clients are happy, your team (if you have one) is working well together, systems are operational.

Suddenly!!! You get a email from your top vendor (or some other important thing that is vital to supporting all the systems you use) that their rates are increasing, or a product you love is being phased out, or another vendor they use will no longer be available and you're not going to be able to fulfill the orders that have already been placed.

Denial/Bargaining: No. I don't agree to this new pricing. This new software. This new hire. This new schedule. I liked the old pricing/software/employee/schedule. We don't NEED a new system/employee/schedule. The old one basically works! I don't have time to figure this out!

Anger/Resistance: Honestly though, how unprofessional of that company to raise their rates or stop supplying a feature/item/tool that wasn't widely used or was difficult to maintain or obtain. Don't they know that I used that thing?! ME!!!! Don't they know that I don't want to have to figure out another option?!

Depression: Everything was running so smoothly. Now I'm back to the drawing board and I might as well just close my business since this is going to be So Much WORK to deal with. My clients are going to be pissed and blame me. Maybe I can get my old job back...

Acceptance: Y'all!!! Have you SEEN the feature where payment reminders automatically get sent when an invoice isn't paid within 15 days? Now we don't have to manually check and send emails on balances! To be honest, I wanted to get a new system a while ago. I just didn't have time to look into it. We should have done this a while ago!

Doesn't matter if the change has been a long time coming, or the current situation is just a giant suck fest. Sometimes the annoying present is still more comfortable than an unknown future. You may be wondering why I'm rambling on about this...well buckle up, Buttercup cuz I'm about to tell you.

I Got This (So You Don't Have To)

So here's the thing. I like change. I thrive on change. I kinda get antsy once I've gotten everything up and running smoothly. I'm a fixer. I'm a doer. I'm a 'do the research, find the best option, implement it and then train everyone else how to use/do it' person.

Not to toot my own horn (jk...I'm totally tooting my own horn), but I was able to vet, negotiate, onboard and train my old practice to use a new EHR/CRM/Scheduling system in about 3 weeks after COVID-19 hit. We went from a 100% in-person practice to 100% virtual/Telehealth in less than a month. When other businesses had to close (hopefully just temporarily) to try and figure out their next moves, we were already rocking and rolling.

It's not just about managing what needs to be updated/changed. It's about supporting the actual human people who will be impacted by this change. Like I said earlier, even if the change is for the better, it can be super scary to start over with a new system or process. Especially if you know the old way inside out and backwards. It sucks to have to google how to do something that you used to be able to do with your eyes closed.

Change management (there's a whole industry about it) specifically deals with helping businesses (or individuals) to plan, implement, and embrace the changes life throws our way. If you've experienced a less than enjoyable transition at work (or in life), leave a comment and let's poke at what's hurting.

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