Friday, November 20, 2015

Change Is Good Right?

Submitted by Patricia Lamoureux
Database Coordinator with the Association of Administrative Assistants

Change is good right? 
IMG_20151109_165733We often hear this in the business world and sometimes you might smile and agree but really deep down you might not always see how change can be good. You can watch change happen, you can ignore change or you can be a change champion because like it or not, change is the new reality of the world we live in. It is happening in the public sector with Workplace 2.0 and the ever smaller cubicle office. It is happening in the private sector with the Internet of things. Lastly, change is also happening in our personal lives with the arrival of the sharing economy. The opportunity to be a change champion is yours for the taking but are you ready?

Recent examples of workplace change that I’ve experienced include transitioning from teleconferences to the more common video-conferences and the disappearance of land line office phones in exchange for mobile phones. This has led to a whole new work experience and the transition was not always smooth. Recent examples of change on the home front include a smart television that at times seems too smart for its own good and a smart meter that seems to not always be so smart. I’ve not always been an early adopter of change and new ways of doing things but I’ve found that life is a lot more enjoyable if I at least try. I learned change survival skills that helped me develop resiliency when presented with planned and unexpected change.

Here are three ways to help you develop the characteristics of a change champion:
  1. Be informed by proactively taking actions in anticipation of change.
  2. Be organized by using time wisely and effectively.
  3. Be flexible by keeping an open mind to new ways of doing things.
Be Informed
  • What actions can you take in anticipation of change?
  • If you know that a change is happening, try to be involved in someway.
  • Reading every day can mean scanning business tweets before going to work. Scanning a couple national newspapers or a couple of electronic magazines.
  • This can make a real difference in knowing what is new and trending and to keep your business acumen updated.
  • It is important to read every day and yes there is time
Be Organized
  • In the book, “168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Think” by Laura VanderKam, there are interesting ideas about time management and the average person’s perception of how busy they really are.
  • It comes down to choices. What is your priority? Are you going to take 15mins of every hour to learn about something?
  • Know your core competencies and spend time on what you’re really good at and if you need help in other areas, invest in that sooner than later.
Be Flexible
  • Try to understand someone else’s perspective even if you don’t agree.
  • By losing stubbornness and staying open-minded you can gain the ability to manage yourself through the change instead of trying to prevent change.
  • Be open to possibilities and plan for opportunities that might present themselves.
I joined the WBN last January with both apprehension and anticipation after deciding that this group could offer me knowledge and insights that simply can’t be found in a book or in a course. For an administrative assistant, this kind of learning might be considered unconventional but I believe that sometimes doing something different is the perfect way to understand new perspectives. Joining this group is definitely something that is outside my comfort zone but in my experience, doing things that aren’t easy usually means that I have an opportunity to learn and grow. It comes down to accepting and even creating change in order to thrive as a change champion. In my opinion, yes change is good if you’re ready to get past the fear of the unknown.

Ad for WBNPatricia currently works full-time as a Program Research Assistant with FedDev Ontario and volunteers as Database Coordinator with the Association of Administrative Assistants.

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