The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change Itself

I thought I would start with this quote from Heraclitus, the philosopher from Ephesus.

“The only thing that is constant is change itself …”

Is change good, why should we change and how does that fit in the day to day running of a business or business information? This is where my interests lay.

I once visited a large UK food business, where I was invited to present some form of reporting or analysis of the resources within their business. We spent about an hour showing the business what could be done with not a lot of effort, but some investment in time and cost. It was acknowledged the rewards could be enormous.

There was a pause and the then MD produced a small notepad from his pocket. Waving it above his head he proudly announced that him, his father and his grandfather before him had all used a notepad to estimate the resources for the day and that there was no reason to change, and that he did not trust computers and immediately left the room.

As you can imagine, after the short silence, the following discussion between the team was heated, frustrating, desperate … all of these things with an ominous sense of resignation.

If we do not embrace change then we miss opportunities and new places. In business, change needs to be adopted by the team and the employees, otherwise change has the possibility of failure. “I’ve always done it this way” is not acceptable any more.

Moving from printed reports, all formatted into a pile as a bound document to visual information is a big step. But ask the consumer what part of this 800-page report they really look at?

They check the summary on the front page … they look at the bottom line numbers on the last page. And then if there is anything that looks out of place, they may look at the detail on page 457, but very rarely. However, try to change this and that rather satisfying pile of paper that has arrived on their desk every month for the last 12 years will cause anxiety. A sense of loss.

Ignore the number of trees that are wasted every year, how many times do you read anything other than the front and back pages?

So let’s suggest some change here. A visual for the front page summary, with the bottom line figures from the last page under the visuals, with an option to drill down to the detail would provide the same. With this already available on screen rather than waiting for 800 pages of double sided printing. And you don’t need to wait until the end of the month … you can see the values any time you want during the month, so you can head off any changes.

Well there’s a contradiction … adopt change to provide the ability to head off change.

Which highlights how some changes are good and others can be bad. But without the good change implemented by you … you don’t get a warning about the bad stuff implemented by something else starting to creep in until it is too late.

Ok, how about another change?

How about this information being delivered to you from the cloud, via a browser, rather than that old server still ticking over in the server room?

Now that’s serious change because you have always trusted that old server, even though it keeps breaking down and takes hours of admin to keep it ticking over. But you already check your bank online or order products or tickets online, why not do the same with your business data? You now don’t need to be in the office to check these bad changes if they occur.

There will always be somebody waving their notepad, trying to pull back the rise of change … but these people need to adopt the “constant process of change” or they actually become dangerous.

Embracing change is not a difficult skill to learn. It helps us all grow and advance for the better. Adopting change can help you and the business grow. It challenges beliefs and values by re-evaluating the situation, and moving on. It breaks up routine, something that is a comfortable place for a lot people. Change offers opportunity.

New successful businesses are not successful because they do the same as everybody else … they break the rules, think laterally, do things differently, change and adapt to the market. And at every turn are looking for change.

Why have I written this article?

DSCallards have supplied SAP BusinessObjects and Crystal Report technologies over the years to developers and consumers since the mid 90’s following on with the web interfaces to deliver reports internally to business … and our business is supporting and maintaining many of these customers.

But we are also adopting change. In parallel to these technologies we are now also working with analytical tools in the Cloud such as SAP Analytics Cloud, Yellowfin and Microsoft PowerBI.

Come with us on this journey and ask for a demo from our sales team. Remember “the only thing that is constant is change …”.

Posted by , Technical Director, 11th June 2019

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