Change… a scarce minority is able to naturally appreciate change. Most people hate change. Instinct and evolution has imprinted upon our genetic makeup the innate value of stability. Still some people claim they like change, but those claims are often spawned out of the desire to appear progressive and agile rather than genuine appreciation of change itself.
Yet change is a critical motivator quite deserving of appreciation – it introduces challenge, carving meaning out of true victories which could otherwise be discounted as uneventful. On the Internet stage upon which we compete, the efforts we make within our communities are bolstered by a higher level of control than “Real Life”. So how do we get from the imperfect nature of our current platforms and approaches, to enjoying more perfect communities in the future?
Change can and should be a positive influence, bringing us closer into an equilibrium state where it’s more natural for people to be generally happier, needs are being serviced more directly, and Bobby and Whitney live happily ever after. Maybe that last bit is going too far, but they could at least stop poisoning themselves with substance abuse and beating the shit out of each other. Anyways…
So how do we overcome the adversarial relationship that exists between “change” and our own human nature? How do we achieve Positive Change through positive implementation? How do we avoid Positive Change with aggravating implementations? We manage it.
Bosses love that term; CEO’s whack off to it… the piss-ants who implement change cuss both the former groups for making them actually work for a paycheck while their superiors play “buzz-word” bingo in meeting rooms and cushy offices. Finally, the people ultimately affected by change reap the benefits… or suffer the consequences.
There is a simplified 4 part framework that is indispensable when managing change, so as to follow along as if painting by number, and get that much closer to where we ultimately want to be. They are as follows, listed in order of progression:
- Planning – How should we do this and not jack it up
- Communication – Identify affected parties, communicate the change so they don’t want to jack us up
- Implementation – We are now ready to do this and jack it up as little as possible
- Retrospection – Where did we end up jacking it up for us
This is where great strides are made! 20/20 hindsight offers lessons to carry with us in both our personal and professional lives, to keep with us for the next challenge, and it leads to process improvement for the next time we plan, communicate, and implement.
Retrospection is the most important part because it brings it (the change) and us (the affected parties) together. As people we tend to learn more from our failures than we do from our victories. The importance of forcing ourselves to be realistic, or harsh even, is an ever present challenge when taking things in retrospect – but that importance must not be discounted. In this way we improve.
What we failed at yesterday is far less important than what we have overcome and expressed dominance over today.
By following solid frameworks and consciously assigning value to items like that which I have outlined in this article, we build a structure around our management of change. This framework ensures everyone knows their place and we operate in harmony. Through good policy and adherence to such a structure, we position ourselves in a way that we inevitably leverage our advantages and success becomes a certainty of time more so than a question of potential.
Overclockers forums recently had its moderation staff locked out of the administration panel for a day or two. A big deal? No. Aggravating for altruistically motivated staff who volunteer their time? Very. Could it have been avoided? Easily, with the right framework for managed implementation of change. All internet communities could gain from doing a better job at this in various aspects as well as our own here at Overclockers.