How Building a Baseball Dynasty is Like Deploying an Imaging System
It’s been a few months, I have still not come down from the high of watching my beloved Cubs winning the World Series. And with Spring Training underway, it is fun to know my team is the defending world champion. For me there are many parallels to how the Cubs succeeded and how you can implement a successful document management solution. Now I know that is quite the contrast, but the two actually have a lot of parallels.
First, the Cubs were not a Cinderella story that came out of nowhere to win it all. They were hand crafted over a five-year period to the point in which they became champions. The team built itself up from the ruins by creating an atmosphere of positive thinking and a winning attitude. They surrounded themselves with quality people who have a common goal.
Now let’s take that to your company. If you have yet to embrace the technology of digitizing your records I can assure you that you are falling behind your competitors and are not nearly as efficient as you could be. To adapt and change you need to create a positive environment where everyone is pulling for the same goals. People want to do the best job they can, many times, however, they are handicapped by the tools that they are given. As a manager, and leader, you need to surround yourself with positive people who want to excel. You owe it to them to provide a playbook with the proper tools to do more. Living in the past, using 20th-century methods of pushing paper is not the way to succeed. You need to modernize and take advantage of every tool that is at your disposal.
The Cubs refused not to make themselves better, even when it came to trading their top prospect for a closing pitcher with a questionable past. But before they made a move, they did their homework. They also decided that making the trade was a risk worth taking.
Making the decision to deploy a document management and workflow solution may look to be risky. The cost, the disruption within the department, the change in process and the adaption that your people will need to make are all reasons not to deploy a system. Not very good reasons, but are reasons none the less. But it is your responsibility, as the manager and leader, to take the chance, do your research and deploy the system. You cannot get better and improve unless you take a chance, push aside your fears and move forward.
People inherently resist change. Taking someone outside their comfort zone can be challenging and stressful. However, having a shared vision with your team makes the transition more manageable. And once a person gets over the initial learning curve, they could never image going back to the old paper based system.
So here are a few tips for transitioning to an automated workflow process:
Begin by evaluating your current processes and how your people interact with those processes.
Next select a technology that will work within your processes and people.
Spend time documenting your current state and use this as a foundation for creating a future state.
Document your future state creating a blueprint from which to build your system.
Share your vision with your staff and solicit their thoughts and ideas. Give them ownership into the new system.
Create the proper expectations for deploying a new system. Understand that things may go wrong, but that is just part of the process.
Create incentives for your workers to get through the transition of the new system and begin using it.
Build your own departmental dynasty and then enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take a chance and create a culture going forward that embraces change and thrives and being the best. Just like the Cubs!
Jack Arnston is a Principal at The Priton Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.