I am surrounded by boxes due to moving house. We go on multiple treasure hunts each day looking for a particular item. But it is also about learning new routines, new ways of being in the space. The kids are adjusting to new schools. We figure out where to shop, new trains to board, new roads to drive. Often, tasks we expect to take a few minutes turn into hours. Sometimes even a whole day.
However, some things are easier. We have more outdoor space now so the children run around more easily. We have a trampoline on which they bounce for hours. Additionally, we have outbuildings in which we can store things we don’t need now. Or store things we don’t where to put right now.
This is a common story. And it’s not about moving house, it’s about change. I see it in organisations exploring new technology. They ‘bring’ with them boxes of ways of doing things and try to fit it ‘into’ the new technology. Adopting new routines requires a lot of effort; often more than previously required. It tends to be stressful and tiring.
Changing operating models in tough. It often requires saying good bye to familiar processes, behaviours, and sometimes even people. Additionally, it requires learning new ways of working, of being. And often, learning new things takes time, much more time than we expect or want.
Changing operating models, like moving house, is a long term endeavour. Unpacking the boxes is the easy part, learning to live in the new space, the new community takes time. Creating new organisational structures, new policies, buying new technology – all of this is the easy part. Changing the culture to accept and support the new operating model tends to take time.
And yes, there will be moments of missing the ‘old’ place or the way things were. Reminiscing can be healthy, it can help us be grateful for those that came before us. The experiences we had which make us who we are today.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a box…
Photo by Erda Estremera