Change doesn’t have to suck

November 10, 2019 | Aged Care Marketing

Anthony Carroll, Senior Marketing Manager at Mirus Australia is an expert in human-centred design.  Anthony regularly teaches at the University of Sydney, Centre of Continuing Education on this very subject and is an Expert-in-Residence on behalf of Mirus Australia, a Gold Partner  of innovAGEING.

Change is like a new pair of shoes. It can be uncomfortable at first but soon you won’t want to take them off, and they become your ‘go to’ footwear 

Change, like new shoes, needs to have measures in place to counter the negative effects. Even though Band-aids may become your best friend, there is always a rub and unfortunately blisters do happen. The rub in the case for change is friction. Friction with people, friction with new technology, friction with emotions pertaining to the process of change itself.  

Purpose and relevance 

History is all about change. In fact, the evolution of humans is really the story of change. The last 100 years alone has brought more change to the way humans live, literally. Penicillin, antibiotics, open heart surgery, organ transplants, all breakthrough changes that are designed to preserve life, for as long as possible. 

And so, change is inevitable. No-one ever complained about the wheel changing over time. No-one ever opted not to use wheels once they tried them. This is because the change was immediate and obvious. The benefits were game changing. Now humans could move large masses over longer distances. This brought travel, exploration and expansion. 

When people can see the purpose and relevance of change, then it becomes easier for them to adopt and accept it. Importantly, the speed in which they accept and adopt the change comes down to the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor or the WIIFM (pron. Wiff-Em) factor. 

It’s not to say Humans are selfish and will only do something if there is something in it for them. People want to feel like they are part of something. They want purpose and relevance. Purpose being the big picture whereas relevance providing context for them to relate to the change. Questions like, “How does this benefit me?” “Where do I fit in?” “Why should I care?” are all part of the change process. After all, why would you change something if there was no benefit in it? 

Bringing people along on the journey isn’t merely about communication milestones and work done to date. It’s an inclusive process that involves collaboration and co-designing to achieve a beneficial outcome. An outcome that has purpose and relevance for everyone involved. 

This post is part of the ‘Change doesn’t have to suck’ series which highlights the positive attributes change can bring to our lives, in the communities we live and work in and the world! We discussed change at Aged Care industry events including ACSA, Eden in OZ/NZ and LASA National Congress. See where we are speaking or attending next by visiting our Events page  See you there! #CDHTS #MakingAgedCareBetter