Sometimes you can get thrown into a change management process when you least expect it.
Last month, my e-newsletter host told me that they’re changing platforms, and I need to migrate to their new platform everything in my account that I’ve built up in the five years I’ve been using their services. WHAT?!
They had yet to say, “Yes, we will help you migrate all of your information and data at no charge since we’re totally inconveniencing you.” Instead, all I’d gotten is long-winded answers to yes-or-no questions. They should be politicians. Because of how they were handling this situation, and as long as I’d pretty much have to start from scratch when I migrate, I thought this would be a good time to research what other e-newsletter platforms are out there.
My assistant Shawn researched. I researched. Then I got completely overwhelmed.
Any time you’re confronted with a change you weren’t expecting, it can be overwhelming. And what if there are seemingly no wonderful options? Yeah, it stinks, doesn’t it? There are lessons to be learned when you’re going through the change management process. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Lesson 1 – Take a deep breath.
When your brain is spinning a mile a minute, it’s difficult to focus and think clearly. The change management process requires clarity and rationalization. The sooner you can focus, the sooner you can move forward.
Lesson 2 – Change causes discomfort.
Even when change is planned, and it’s something that’s good for us (like exercising more or eating healthier), it’s human nature to feel uncomfortable. Once you accept this fact of life, your brain will get past the discomfort and move from emotional to logical, which will allow you to better deal with the information parceling you might need to do.
Lesson 3 – Do a preliminary search for information.
Set a timer for 15 minutes and search for information about your change topic. This will be long enough for you to formulate questions, but not so long that you begin to get completely overwhelmed. These questions can be used to guide the rest of your research as well as help you keep your research organized.
Lesson 4 – Seek out others’ opinions.
If someone you know has gone through a similar situation or they’re utilizing one of the choices you have as a solution, interview them using the questions you formulated. Ask them if they have any advice for you as you go through this process.
Lesson 5 – Arrange for a demo.
If you’re in a situation that allows you to try out an option, take advantage of it. You might have to pay a small fee, but you’ll get to experience firsthand how this option functions.
Lesson 6 – Evaluate the pros and cons of your top three choices.
As you go through the research, interview and demo process, you’ll most likely eliminate some of your choices and begin ranking the choices that are left. Start with your top three choices and compare the pros and cons of each. If you’re not satisfied with the number of pros, move into the next three on your list. If none of these move to the frontrunner position, return to your top three and make your decision from there.
I examined all of the options and test-drove the top candidates. In the end, there were more pros than cons with staying with my current provider, but using their standard option instead of the higher option I had been paying for. I was also able to work out a deal with them to move all of my materials.
I would not have been able to make a rational decision if I hadn’t used the above steps.
The next time you need to go through the change management process, I recommend you do the same. Good luck!