I have 4 blogs of my own and one I manage for my accountant. I’ve been blogging for a lot of years, and I have a fair bit of knowledge on how to work almost every part of the inner workings of them.

tshirt change

Until last week, there had only been one drastic change to my blogging platform in 16 years. That came a couple of years ago when WordPress, the software most used throughout the world for blogging, changed the process for creating and editing articles. Almost no one saw it coming, and for the longest while a lot of people stopped blogging; some left it for good. I couldn’t figure it out, but I found a plugin that reversed the process back to what the rest of us were used to. I don’t know if this is a forever thing, but I’m happy for the time being.

Then either last week or the week before, a major change came to a plugin I’ve used for at least a decade. Overwhelmingly, most of us are used to updating plugins without reading release notes because it’s usually a very minor change. This time… it was a major change. The entire utility was altered. Nothing worked like it did before, and of course it happened during the time when I was taking my two week break.

I updated the plugin on all my blogs and my accountant’s blog without looking at it, since the only way I noticed the change was when I was ready to write a new blog post. Without going deep into it, I’ll just say that I was irked enough that I decided I wasn’t going to use that plugin anymore. Not only that, but a plugin that was supposed to be similar to what I used to use wasn’t close. So much for functionality; sigh…

Before I go further, let me share this video with you if I may:

https://youtu.be/oxKQSxVVYKY

When I talk about change as it pertains to leadership and employees, I always say that it’s best to have a discussion with employees as to why the changes have to be made, the reason for the changes, and what specific changes they’re going to have to make. Yet that’s not always how things are done. What ends up happening is a lot of confusion, consternation and grief, as well as delays in implementation because people are learning on the fly what they’re supposed to do without knowing the endgame.

In a strange way, we can equate that to what happens with our social media sites. About a month ago Facebook made a drastic change that threw off the look of everyone’s pages and profiles, and they’re still looking to incorporate a number of phone applications into one. Months before that, LinkedIn did the same, making changes that no one knew were coming until they signed on one day and noticed it.

There were a lot of complaints about all those changes, but the difference between that and the workplace is that overall social media use is free, whereas business changes can impact not only processes and procedures but overall income and proficiency.

When you think about it, unless you’re the one in charge of making the changes, for most people change is never easy. A highly trained pitcher in baseball can’t learn how to throw a knuckleball in a day, sometimes never. A cornerback in football can’t be taught how to be a proficient quarterback in a week. Not only is change not easy, but change also takes time, both in creation and education. Without processes that help people learn, it’s going to be a mess that’s going to take a long time to get right.

Change is only good if the outcome is improvement, and it always takes a lot of work, whether it’s in business or one’s personal life. If you’re a leader and the change is critical to your department or organization’s ability to provide better outcomes, you have to make sure you can either implement it easier or train the employees as much as possible before beginning.

You probably won’t have the luxury I did with my blogs in deciding I wasn’t going to change, instead deciding to do without. That means you need to plan and work hard to make it as easy as possible. Everything might depend on it.
 

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