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Adjusting to change: But seriously, white carpeting?

  • Created By  Colleen Burns
  • Updated 2013-06-17T12:03:56-04:00
  • Tags: ibm_redbooks,  carol_sumner,  social_business 

Adjusting to change: But seriously, white carpeting?
imageCarol Sumner, IBM Senior Accelerated Value Leader


My husband and I moved to a new a few of weeks ago. Obviously we loved the home and the location (five minutes from my favorite golf course) or we wouldn't have bought it. But the transition has still been difficult. We moved from a 100-year-old house with virtually no closet space to a 20-year-old house with closets in every room, although the rooms are much smaller in the new house. We didn't even have a garage at our previous home.


What is interesting, however, is how our impressions have changed over the last two weeks.


Three days before moving:

  • This is going to be fantastic.image
  • What a great location.
  • I can hardly wait to move.


Three days after moving:

  • The person who designed this kitchen

    • has never cooked a meal,

    • is about 6 feet tall,

    • had no clue how many drawers/cupboards were needed.

  • I can't find anything! Where did I put the pot holders (as a pot is boiling over)?!!

  • Nothing functions as well as it did at the old house.

  • We're going to have to spend about $30,000 to make this house functional.

  • The shower in the master bathroom is really small.

  • Who the heck would pick white carpeting?!



Ten days after moving:image

  • Hmm, this kitchen is working pretty well.

    • It's easier to empty the dishwasher (dish cupboard is right above the dishwasher).

    • There's less counter space overall, but there is more of it right next to the sink.

    • I guess I don't need to store every serving dish in the kitchen; some can go in the dining room.

  • The garage is a great place to store cleaning supplies.

  • There's another closet?!!!

  • We'll have to replace the shower in the master bathroom.

  • Who the heck would install white carpeting?!


Even though we chose to make this change, it is still hard. There are some things that are better at the new house. We just couldn't recognize that they were better at first because they were different from the way we were used to doing things. Basically, we have to establish new patterns of behavior to feel comfortable in our new home.



The challenge of adjusting to change

imageConsider then the adjustments that employees have to make when changes happen in an enterprise environment. At an individual level the new way of doing things does not feel as efficient as the old way. Add in the number of people adjusting to the changes and it is easy to see why it takes time and patience to change the way work gets done.


This is even more true with social business. It involves not just changing one tool for another (or one house for another) but fundamentally changing the way that we interact with our work and our coworkers. What is key is living with the new, figuring out what is better and improving what isn't working. When you move to a new house you have no choice but to make the adjustment. When you are moving an enterprise to a new ethos people have to choose to adjust. This is why adoption strategies must be consciously undertaken. People are perfectly capable of changing, but they have to know why and how.


But seriously, how could anyone ever think white carpeting is a good idea?


If you want to chat about adjusting to change, or other topics, leave a comment or connect with me on Twitter @sumnercl1.


Carol Sumner is an Accelerated Value Leader with IBM Collaboration Solutions who specializes in collaboration systems implementation and administration. Carol has recently added the role of social business champion within IBM, helping teams make the most of social media. What she enjoys most about her days is helping people solve problems (and playing golf). You can contact Carol at carol_sumner@us.ibm.com or through Twitter (@sumnercl1).


Carol is an IBM Redbooks thought leader



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