Easy. Expensive.

by | Oct 26, 2022 | Change, ICT4D |

easy. expensive

‘This is expensive.’

How do you tell? My elementary school teacher would tell me that expensive is a comparison word. So something can be expensive in comparison to something else. We could be comparing to another item or service of a similar nature. This TV compared to that one. However, more often than not, we are comparing against our expectation.


This is another one of these comparative words. Easy for whom? Easy compared to what?

Policies and standards tend to be perceived as painful to write. TIme consuming activities where people agonise and debate over individual words. The end result too often being something disconnected from reality and collecting dust on a shelf. And yet, policies and standards are relatively easy to write. The difficult part is changing mindsets and behaviours, so they are put into practice.

Buidling digital solutions tends to come with a high price tag. They are expensive in comparison to paper and pen or the way we currently do things. Building digital solutions also tends to be more expensive than changing people’s mindsets and behaviours so the organisation can reap the reward of the digital solution. However, building digital solutions is often ‘easy’ in comparison to changing mindsets and behaviours.

Changing mindsets and behaviours (culture) is slow, not easy, and requires consistency. It is no wonder that we often choose the ‘expensive’ and ‘easy’ route of building digital solutions or writing policies and standards. However, if we would spend time and effort on changing our culture to match our policies, adhere to our standards, and use our digital solutions well, the benefits would be enormous.

The digital solution, the policy, and the standards are not the culmination of our journey. At best, they are a place to start. Don’t waste the effort by stopping with them.

Changing culture is hard. Do it anyway.

Photo by John Schnobrich


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