The Future As Seen By Me In 2010

Well looky here, things one has scanned in eh. (ignore the photo, that's some guy that made some accounting software, not sure what became of him ;) MIKE RIVERSDALE is fuming. The expensive headphones he bought in Sydney three weeks ago have just died. His first reaction is not to randomly spill expletives into his coffee, but to use his iPhone to vent his frustration to his Twitter con- tacts, under the moniker Miramar Mike. "I will also put, 'What should I do?' It's a conversation. I'm reaching out to the people following me." The council predicts hand-held digital devices such as smartphones will rule the world in 2040. They already rule the life of Mr Riversdale, whose company WaveAdept helps businesses adapt - their computing sys- tems to allow staff to work from anywhere - and with anyone. In order of fre- equency, he uses his iPhone to tweet (1136 followers; 8363 tweets since joining), e-mail, make phone calls and use online services, such as checki

Nothing Changes Without An "Oh Fuck!" Moment

I would never have sold so many Google Apps GSuite Google Workplace** Google WorkSPACE licences without a massive, "Oh Fuck!" moment in 2007-2008.

Having struck out on my own with this new "cloud"* approach to providing 'enterprise quality' office basic services to everyone at the same price via a web browser I met a wall of CIOs telling me I was dreaming. It's well known there are many many ways to say No, I heard them all.

When these CIOs tasked their teams to create the budget for the upcoming years it was full of the same old stuff, $ for upgrades of the servers, $ demanded for licences, $ for the people looking after the tin ... standard budgetary process.

This was 2007-2008, the global financial crisis was in full swing.

"You want how much Mr CIO? Hah, have you eve read the newspapers?! No! Go away and do it with LESS money"

Oh Fuck!

The meetings started appearing in my calendar, "You know I told you you were mad with all that Google stuff, um, could you just pop in and take me through it one more time, things have changed ..."

Back in the mid 1990s I was working for the Department of Corrections helping them shift from Ingress database to ... another type, it evades me. This was all running on Sun Solarix, an environment I was comfortable within. One day, it'll have been a Tuesday mark my words, I logged on to the test environment with my ID and decided I needed to blow everything I had been working on away and start again. 

rm *.* -rf

Within seconds up shot the error messages! Oh fuck!
Yip, logged into production ... as root. I don't know why, I can't remember what was going on, and let's not go there, I had my moment.

It got sorted and within an hour no-one outside of the team was the wiser. But I changed how the environment made sure you knew WHO you were logged in as and WHERE you were.

Most change management practice assumes the Oh Fuck moment has happened. It works on the premise that change is in action, even if it's right at the beginning. This is a mistake to be made.

A common change management model is the Prosci ADKAR

  • Awareness
  • Desire
  • Knowledge
  • Ability
  • Reinforcement

Lack of awareness of the reason for change was cited as the primary source of employee resistance [..] if an employee cannot answer "what's in it for me?" resistance is likely to occur. And when resistance is overlooked or ignored, projects face increased resistance, slowed progress and reduced return on investment.
source: Prosci: Awareness ebook

See what I mean, the spark of change has happened somewhere and we're into raising awareness of it. Without that spark then change won't even kick off. 

These moments of Oh fuck happen at differing times, and for different reasons, but without it there is no change.

When it happens be open, honest, and very communicative about it - this is the seed, the reason, the point of disrupting the comfortable status quo. 

I'll leave you with two additional thoughts.
Are you changing without an Oh Fuck moment, if so, why bother - just get really really good at what you're currently doing.

HOWEVER, if the moment arrives and you don't see it but others do (or think they do), then spend time really questioning your assumptions about the environment you're working within as you may have a blind spot. No-one wants to be Kodak. [more on this in the next article]

The world is going through tumultuous times which may or may not be an Oh Fuck moment for you and your people. If it is, don't hide away from it, be glad that it has hit you in the face and now, start changing in response.


* I don't recall if it was even called "cloud" back then, maybe.
** WorkPLACE is a system from Facebook. WHY have Google & Facebook got a name so so close to each other, grrr

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