Tuesday, October 31, 2006

' Change Function'

I read an interesting article in Fast Company the other day. I found it interesting on the topic of change. It was entitled 'The Change Function' which talked about how great all these technologists are in creating things that are cutting edge. Only to forget one thing. They really have to work towards actually what the customer wants or needs. Not what they can do. Gee thats some killer thinking

I found this amusing in two ways.

Firstly I used to work on a Hewlett Packard and heard about all this awesome technology that was either coming out or out. A computer the size of a DVD player that can tape live TV and can switch between the internet and TV in second and also enabled you to control functions within your house (air con, heating etc) from your PDA or phone. It all sounds great ...but its all here now, right. This was about 4 years ago and was only starting to turn the corner then. I was also only just starting what I will deemed my technology awakening. Where I began to realise that it was here. Not all stories of how great the future will be. But it will be in my hand soon. At the time we thought it was awesome. Everyone will want one of them. I remember talking about it in a meeting with a group of other agencies. All the guys almost fell off their chairs.

But there was one problem, which is often missed by techies and developers. (I'd even deem marketers) There always is a pain in adopting new technology and people need somewhat of a crisis that can outweight this pain. Before any action is taken. The article contained this formula

Change = f (level of current crisis, perceived pain of adoption)

I think its great. But I think it should be taken to a broader view outside of just technology

My second point highlights that this is linked to change in everything that seems to be somewhat difficult and has to breakdown a lot of history. Sitting in an industry that is supposedly in the midst of so much change. Yet I see little movement other than adding a nice little thing here or there. Have they not hit a level of crisis yet. Have clients not walked out and said. I dont want this anymore and I am going to not going to pay you guys unless you change. They havent.... The head of P&G and Unilever have made some comments about changes internally and including more digital. But not completely changing to 'adapt' to how the market is. Have they not hit the crisis level yet. I would argue that Nike havent hit a crisis level yet. But they have moved into consumers creating their own shoes. Their own events. Their own media. Why can they change, without crisis.

So do we sit back and wait for it. Or do we break through that pain of adoption and do what is right for the future of what we do. Faris has already made a good comment from a fellow Australians blog 'If you dont like change, your going like irrelevance even less' ... touche. I guess all of us 'New World' people understand what change is as we have no past to get stuck with.

(Considering Michelle works with some of my friends at Naked Sydney, I can see how the great Australian minds think alike. Say hi to Baxter and Paul for me). But there is plenty of irrelevance in everything we do. So maybe we should use that as a starting point

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