As US President Obama passes his 100th day office in the white house, a poll reveals that his popularity is still up there. Following shortly, outbreak of the deadly A(H1N1) hits the front page of every newspaper and talksshow. I slowly realize that all of this is related to “change”.
You can find good articles/blogs out there regarding changes and how to manage them. However, I found that cultural and behavior change is the most challenging when implementing a PM project in Asia.
However, it’s not that straight forward, especially in Asia.
First, most organizations are NOT built for changes. From research, among the top 10 profitable companies in 2008, over 50% are “known” to be driven and operated by a “group” of old folks. The revenue generating “business units” works based on what has been done for the past 30-50 years without any change. Supporting units only function as a process to support those units.
Next, the culture itself is not ready. Debate and discussion as a team player doesn’t happen to be the norm here. People don’t speak up in meetings and discussions, as one is taught that talking back to elderly is not appropriate and should be avoided.
Finally, communication media is not effectively utilized. Emails and documents don’t seem to be effective here.
Private talks /lunch or dinner gatherings /gossip/ rumors works effectively.
This is even harder when the subject of change is “intangible and unknown”. Performance management happens to be an “intangible” compared to revenue, cash and head counts. Reluctance is noticed when jumping out from their comfortable zone into something “unknown”. To make things even harder, all of the above in a limited time frame.
It seems that when considering implementation PM projects, one has to consider the timing used to educate the “intangible and unknown” areas to the clients as well. Failing to do so will result and bad handoff and maintenance thought the life-cycle of the application.
To those who think “Change” is something that has to happen now or there is no change, I say this: Nothing in life happens by wishing it to be so, you have to work for it.
But life in the fast lane of change, has its humorous side too. I found this joke circulating this week on Humour For All Occasions.
100 years ago, they said that when a black man became president, pigs would fly.