Changes

I've spent years working in quality assurance and regulatory affairs, two of arguably the most thankless jobs in the world because you're constantly on your toes with regard to organizational behavior, and nobody, but nobody wants to discuss how they (or their department) can (or must) improve on the job. That's one of the reasons why I was looking forward to downloading the Heath brothers' new book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, to my Nook when it came out last week.

If you are the least bit involved in managing staff, you’ve probably noticed that when you change or add a process — say, a new billing system, for example – suddenly people get grouchy. They are expending an unusual amount of effort to learn a new way of doing things, and this takes time and energy that they weren’t flush with in the first place. In my experience, some staff will go so far as to ignore new processes in order to reduce the chances that changes will be adopted.

What’s at the root of this behavior? Techno phobic employees or good, old-fashioned laziness? Not according to the Heaths. The problem, they say, is that when you remove the “auto-pilot” portion of our day from the job equation, you get people who are really, really tired. This has a negative effect on their ability to see the benefit of the changes being instituted. However, once the benefits are demonstrated, many people will reconsider their positions and alter their attitudes.

If you aren’t interested in reading the entire book, here’s an excerpt posted online regarding an adjustment made to a hospital environment to decrease the number of medication errors.

Something to keep in mind during the push to bring technology into the healthcare environment.

I’ve spent years working in quality assurance and regulatory affairs, two of arguably the most thankless jobs in the world because you’re constantly on your toes with regard to organizational behavior, and nobody, but nobody wants to discuss how they (or their department) can (or must) improve on the job. That’s one of the reasons why I was looking forward to downloading the Heath brothers’ new book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, to my Nook when it came out last week.