Keeping systems sexy

One of my favorite bloggers is Kem Meyer.

Kem is the Communications Director at Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana.

She has just written a wonderful post about the value of systems, and more importantly how to implement them without killing the enthusiasm of the team or the momentum of the organization. Please read it here!

In case you’re thinking about not reading it, here’s a snippet of what you’ll find:

A centralized system routes information and functions through a main hub to free up resources in other areas. Whether it’s for communications, data entry, support ticket-tracking, or something else, the goal of a centralized system is to increase:

  • accuracy; bad content leads to poor service
  • accessibility; easy-to find resources and easy-to-run reports
  • seamless flow; no conflicts or dead ends, start-to-finish distribution
  • continuity; a consistent experience across multiple touch points
  • cost savings; eliminate manual legwork and duplicate efforts

All of this should be a good thing, right? Right. Except…

Many times anyone outside the central “hub” perceives the system as a bottleneck for their work and a loss of control over their job. The average person doesn’t associate “systems” with “good times”. And, you won’t motivate anybody to replace “what they’re used to” with a new policy or rule.

If you’re looking for buy-in to generate momentum for a new system across your organization, you’ve got to figure how how to communicate what people “get out of it” as well as “here’s what’s at stake if we don’t.”

In other words…

  • DON’T say this: “Everybody has to start doing it this way from now on.”
  • DO say this: “Hey…you’ve got a job to do, hopefully this will make that job easier.”
  • DON’T say this: “Things are getting out of hand so we’re implementing a new policy”
  • DO say this: “We’ve reached a size where our old methods are hurting us instead of helping us and here’s what we need to adjust.”

“It’s not that people hate change…they just hate how you’re trying to change them.”

Now go over and read how Kim and some of the other Granger team are successfully keeping systems sexy!

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