Years ago, when I was starting out, I was given a book by my eventual father-in-law (though I didn’t know it at that time) called “Who Moved My Cheese?”. It’s a fascinating look at change management and pre-set my mind into what I am now in some respects: that change is Good. That change is Needed. That change should be Anticipated. I was a young rat then, entering into the race, and now a dozen years after reading that book, it still resonates somewhat in me. That change is great.
You can change a situation and not change a person. For instance, you might know someone who got retrenched. His situation changed. His cheese was taken away. But like some of the characters in the story, he sat down and mooned over his situation. Or you can change a situation and change a person. Someone else adapted to the situation and changed his mindset to address the new situation. Better yet, if you anticipate the change, and start moving before even your cheese is finished. The last part is certainly the hardest. This is mainly not due to our resistance to change, but to our comfort of the status quo.
Imagine we go to work everyday, with a set routine and do things from 9 to 6. When we’ve gone home, we spend time with family, watch our favourite show and crash for the night. Deep in our thoughts we have made up our mind to study a new system, or new language or develop a new methodology for IT risks, or even to diversify our income channels by going into investments. But we always say, well, not this day. And as the famous phrase from Scarlett O’Hara goes: “After all, tomorrow is another day.” The phrase of optimism and hope has turned the next generation into a generation of procrastinators, because ‘tomorrow’ is only a day away and we can do it tomorrow.
For an organisation such as ours, the inability to change is to die. The inability to anticipate is to be stagnant. The inability to innovate is to be left behind. The absence of evolution is the certainty of extinction. It might sound melodramatic, but it’s never so prominent in our case, in IT services.
We need to anticipate in two dimensions: The first is in the current product: the service, the input, the output of our sweat, our efforts, our WORK. How do we do the things we are doing better? How do we improve on the things we are currently selling? The second dimension is in the future ideas. I personally don’t believe in a Blue Ocean. I believe that whatever we do, there is no such thing as an impregnable barriers of entry. With that in mind, I do believe in not just doing things differently, but doing different things. Especially in IT, what are some of the future services we can anticipate? What happens when our IT audits and compliance cheese are finished? Which direction do we move in?
2013 will be in a lot of aspects a year of anticipated change. With more focus on security, we are looking at areas that previously has been ignored: the understanding of big data, the movement into mobility, the virtualisation of workspace.
Are we ready to move from our cheese station this year?