As a consultant, I’ve been part of numerous implementations and supported clients from discovery to project implementation to close out to support. And despite working with several different companies and corporations, I’ve noticed a trend across teams.
Here are five common emotions that come with a process change – and five better emotions to turn that nervous energy into a positive result.
Psychologically, humans find comfort in the “old way.” It’s what we know, and for most organizations, the way they’ve always done things. Having a routine helps people find normalcy in an otherwise chaotic environment. I’ve seen several clients try to recreate pathways and processes they’re familiar with, despite it not being an optimal solution.
Rather: Find peace.
I gently remind clients that the reason my team is here is because old processes aren’t sustainable. Yes, you will retrain your day-to-day activities; however, the new process will take less time and be more efficient. Finding peace in “we are here to improve” will help keep everyone on the same page and driving towards success.
The frustration in the room is often palpable and almost every person is saying this in their heads: “I already have a full-time job and now on top of that, you want me to find time to implement something new!” Not only that, there’s a huge amount of pressure for these types of projects. Frustration immediately mounts as most employees feel trapped in the situation.
Rather: Be opportunistic.
Employees, especially early and mid-level professionals, are always looking for ways to stand out and shine. This is your opportunity to do so. Become fully invested in the success of the project. Where can you help? What documentation can you add? How can you ensure you won’t have to do this again? (Or that it won’t take up as much time?) At the end of the day, a more efficient process will give you more time for value-added work, which an employer can always appreciate.
Every finance professional knows the dollar counts. Leaderships tracks what it takes to generate a report and who needs to weigh in. Because companies establish a monthly and yearly “budget routine,” it’s easy to calculate the organization’s spend, costs, and growth.
However, by staying fixated on the current dollar, you quickly forget about the future benefits and overall cost savings.
Rather: Feel excited.
Adopting new technology adds another expense. We get it. The cloud is becoming our new normal. Reducing hardware and maintenance costs will save money for the organization over time. And financial professionals love savings.
Moreover, I like to remind clients of the advantages of cloud-based systems and why they should be excited about all they can do. Here are a few highlights:
- Deliver results faster, with more quality, at a lower cost
- Allow IT to collaborate and strategize with business owners
- Reduce IT costs to support value-add business initiatives
- Enhance productivity
Lastly, the cloud is a platform on which your company can grow. You can be confident that wherever your business goes, your planning platform will support you along the way.
While a routine is nice, the day-to-day work is taxing and mundane. It seems like it takes eons to generate a single report. And, in finance, deadlines are very strict. You can’t miss a deadline and you can’t push it back: there is no choice; you have to get it done. A good night’s sleep is a pipe dream.
Rather: Embody focus.
With the new systems in place, you will have more time to focus on the more impactful side (analytics) instead of the process just to get it done. You can do more forward-thinking for your company, which will impact the overall bottom line. By having time to be strategic, you will help shape the company’s future.
Every company has turf wars and most accounting and finance teams are “an island unto themselves.” Rarely does an opportunity come up to work with other teams.
Rather: Leverage organizational strengths.
A new financial system means you need to collaborate with other departments, like IT. This exposure to a new team allows employees to understand what drives stakeholders in other functions. Employees are bringing best-practices from both teams forward, and this type of cross-functional expertise not only helps organizations, but also employees as they look forward to future leadership roles.
Change tends to come with an emotional charge. And often, emotions stand in the way of success. By reshaping your emotions, you can focus on the best requirements to bring forward and help your organization thrive for years to come.
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