by Jeff Ryan, MD of AWCape, a Sage Business Partner
The title is an intentional modification of General Eric Shinseki’s original quote:
“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”
My change to the quote gives it two implied meanings. One is that if you don’t like change, you will change anyway. The second meaning is that if you don’t like change, you will like it eventually.
The first meaning is probably where most people and businesses find themselves when faced with change. Whether they are resistant to change, fight it tooth and nail or whether to embrace it, the end result will be change. Unfortunately, for those that fight it or are resistant to it, the change may be painful, end up in retrenchment, bankruptcy, isolation or unhappiness.
The second implied meaning is open to debate, my stance on this is: no matter the change that occurs, whether positive or negative, hindsight is 20/20 and both mature persons and organisations see these change events as “positive” steps in their development.
So, what to do when faced with change?
Well, the first thing to accept is that change is uncertain in its outcome. Sadly, most people associate uncertainty with negative outcomes and as result any change creates anxiety.
“Change is uncertain in its outcome. Results could be positive“
However, anxiety has the same physical manifestations as excitement i.e. increased heart rate, sweaty palms, adrenaline, stress, shallow breathing etc. And that it is our mental framing of the potential outcome that makes us either anxious or excited. This means a mental framing of change as something that could be positive might lead you to be excited about the change rather than anxious, fearful or resistant.
Easy to do? No. Especially when the change is enforced and has immediate negative impacts e.g. retrenchment, COVID, new technology etc. It is the responsibility of leaders to address any change with the right mental framing (aka mind shift) and ensure words and actions are focused on positive framing rather than the negative view.
When the executive sponsor on projects is involved, engaged and positive about change, the staff are pulled along and the project succeeds.
Where are businesses today?
So, let’s look at where most businesses are right now. It has been a very tough time for most businesses for the last year and a half. COVID enforced work from home (WFH) that most businesses were unable to quickly adapt to. Those that could afford it quickly outsourced their hosting needs as a temporary solution to ensure operations could keep going.
AWCape could support our clients through our cloud hosting services that suddenly peaked in demand. But what we are most excited about is that cloud hosting reduced our customers costs (see our webinar here). This has freed up resources to plan and implement proactive business and IT strategies.
And what are most of these businesses thinking? Well, Accenture research shows that those businesses that are getting “excited” (rather than anxious) about technology are flipping their IT budget to invest 70% in innovation and only 30% in maintenance. And what is even more interesting, is that this investment is giving these technology “leader” companies 5 x more revenue growth compared to the traditional approach / laggards.
This is backed up by what we are seeing with customers investing in Sage Intacct (the world’s best financial solution for 5 years running – Gartner). Sage Intacct is giving customers on average a ROI of 250%, payback in under 6 months and productivity improvements of 65%. Not only that, but they are also reaping the benefits of world-class cloud backup, disaster recovery, security, multiple releases per year, 24/7 availability and ease of integration (through well-documented APIs).
ROI of 250%, payback < 6 months & productivity improvements of 65%
What we have also seen from these early adopters are some great discounts as Sage Intacct is on a mission to dominate the SA market as they have done in the US. Particular focus has been on on-premise customers like Sage 50 Pastel and Sage 200 Evolution customers (see promotion here). This has led to even better ROI and a competitive advantage over their peers.
So, where is your organisation?
Are you still reacting to change and being “anxious” about the next change coming? Or are you “excited” to be one of the first to embrace new technologies that will leapfrog your business and keep it ahead of the competition?
Remember: although this might be a big change for you, AWCape experts have done thousands of these projects and will be with you through the entire process and support thereafter.
Change is coming, you can be positive about that 😀