What Is Going On Out There?
I can’t go on any form of social media without seeing a post about new software. The implementation of these new software systems and technology platforms are designed to make it easier to run companies through better data analysis, real-time views of reports, customer relationship management, etc. Yet adopting the newest technologies is typically associated with employee distress or opposition! What is going on out there? Why is bringing new software into a company such a pain? There is more energy and time being put into the pain of pushing or pulling to get it implemented, rather than the alignment of the organization on why it is being done. The latter will empower and create true transformation.
The Common Story
The leadership of a company or business unit investigates and understands that there is a business imperative or opportunity to implement or upgrade to software X. Great, the company hires software specialists and asks specific employees in the company to get software X implemented. Now all these people come together to design, test, and train the new software and go live in 6 months. Starting to sound familiar?
As the software X implementation project gets going, the fun starts. Manager Rosie leaves from burnout trying to test the new software. Employee Bob declares that the sky is falling every time he can’t find the button to complete a report during the training. During user acceptance testing, Salesperson Laura says the software should be customized to do this like the old system, but it’s not. Leader Mary is on the status calls every other week and keeps saying things like “Let’s keep pushing through” and “We just need to get everyone over the finish line.”
Start Focusing On The Power Of Enrollment – Stop Focusing On The Pain
Why are leaders constantly having to push people to get through these software implementations? The pushing and pulling are exactly what is not working. The big missing piece here that will lead Mary’s team to a successful implementation of software X is enrollment.
Imagine a world where the employees of leader Mary navigated these issues and challenges willingly. A world in which leader Mary worked with the team to create a possibility, a promise, and gave employees the choice to enroll in this endeavor. Now, the employees are committed to the future and empowered to overcome issues as they occur. They will seek new ways and explore new possibilities to complete the implementation. That’s the power of enrollment.
No, I repeat no, software implementation will be seamless. There will constantly be issues and challenges to navigate. However, with the power of enrollment, employee Bob will look to start new conversations and go down new pathways to find out what he needs to do to complete a report. Manager Rosie will be committed to the new future that the implementation of software X entails. She will declare when she is burning out from all the testing and zoom calls, which will be met by the support and help of her team that is also enrolled to meet the promise they made.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. enrolled people to give of themselves. He created a future that inspired and enrolled others to take action and live into this future. The people enrolled in his vision did not and do not need micromanagement to take action and overcome obstacles because they made the commitment themselves.
I have first-hand witnessed business units survive implementation projects without enrollment, but I much rather continue to help and witness businesses thrive using enrollment.