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When Things Need To Change

This week I helped a friend edit a letter that’s used frequently within her organization and set it up as a template with ‘fields’ for certain data. If I’ve started to lose you, don’t worry about it … the point of this post isn’t the technicalities of setting up merge fields within a Word document.

The point of this post is something that was said during the process.

You see, there were some parts of this letter that didn’t seem quite right to me. There were a couple of fields at the very top of the letter that seemed out of place and I desperately wanted to tidy up the layout.

Anyway, I asked my friend if she’d like me to tidy up the format a bit too and she gasped, “Oh no, please don’t do that! I’ve asked before if I could make changes to the layout but management were very strict and advised me not to.”

Why?

“Because that’s the way it’s always been done. We don’t want to make any changes after all these years.”

What sort of reasoning is that? I’m not advocating that things need to be constantly changed and updated, but isn’t it at least worth considering?

My personal view on change is that ideas and suggestions should always be listened to and should never be automatically dismissed. If there seems to be a good enough reason to try something new, or to make a few minor adjustments – and these changes are likely to bring about benefits of some sort – go for it.

But always test and measure the results. Did the change bring about any sort of improvement or benefit? Did it cause any problems or negative feedback? And at the end of the day, do the benefits outweigh the negatives?

Sometimes you make changes that don’t work and you need to revert back to the old system, or to try another option all together. But you’ll never really know if you don’t at least test different options.

As for my friend’s letter template, it remains in the old “the way it’s always been” format … for now. 🙂