Some change is harmonious and some is discordant
“The cottages have been made in a way that seems to fit in with the cliff landscape. They stand in terraces, painted in colours of brown, grey and whitewash to match the cliff face. Then, further along the bay, someone has built a hotel, which stands, bright blue, destroying the beauty of this scene. The blue is bluer than the sea on the sunniest day. It just doesn’t seem t fit in with this place.”
Some businesses make process changes, which are not well received by employees.
Not all processes ‘fit together’ easily and, just as some medicines have unpleasant side effects, some processes do not easily sit with others. When designing processes we can make them more or less ‘compatible with other related processes. Whenever one process feed into another it can be useful to consider how harmonious the processes are.
A process might result is an increase in noise and waste products reducing the quality of working life for employees, and perhaps impacting on their motivation and morale.
Or a change in the way money is allocated to different department in an organisation’s budgeting processes might create conflict over who gets what resources.
Story – Processes and Compatibility
One complaint by many users of computers relates to the incompatibility of processes. Much process innovation has occurred in programming processes. Whereas in the 1980s it was almost impossible to get an Apple Computer to ‘talk’ to an Windows compatible computer, nowadays it is much easier. Indeed, the package I am writing this text with, Microsoft Word 2000, allows me a process of almost total compatibility to exchange data between the two systems. Now with smartphones and Tablets – the suppliers are in a raging dialogue and battle with each other in front of a frustrated and often bemused customer base.
When I attempt to load a document that contains graphics, pictures and figures, and I find that some of the data has been lost on transfer, I am frustrated as a user. The process is certainly not harmonious! For computer companies there is still scope to innovate processes, which enable a user to exchange data between different software packages and computer systems. It hasn’t changed that much, even with the advent of the Cloud!
DISCORDANT PROCESS ACTIVITY
List three changes that have been made in your organisation that were not well received by employees
For each example here are a set of questions to consider…
What were the discordant elements of the process underpinning the change?
Did the change not accord with people’s beliefs and values?
Did the change create physical or mental discomfort?
Did the change not integrate well with already existing processes?