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Extreme change management ~ find your core, essential processes

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I can’t resist this post!  I was talking to @dominiccampbell about using Twitter in various occupations.  My mind leapfrogged to this idea.

Extreme change management

  1. Take away all the computers
  2. See which processes people think are sufficiently important to do by hand.
  3. Allow computers to do those and let people know that computers can be removed at arbitrary times.

Then I thought, are computers there for important processes or are they there to allow us to do what we couldn’t do before?

Let’s look at my essential processes.

  • Wouldn’t it be cool if I could check with the Coop whether they’ve actually got any Wheatgerm bread before I walk to the shop?
  • Wouldn’t it be cool if I could ask any one walking back past my house to bring me a loaf?’
  • Wouldn’t it be cool if I had the casual social conversations that I have Coop staff online and in places other than the Coop.

What would I lose if the computers were turned off?

  • Adverts from Tescos ~ only an Express here and they rarely have what I need ~ delete without reading.
  • Adverts from Tescos – no really, I am not going to ask a truck to drive 20 miles to deliver what I can buy down the road in a friendly Coop.  What they don’t have will wait.
  • And probably a whole lot of junk mail from people who don’t know who I am and nor do they want to know. They just vaguely hope that I am stupid enough to buy from them.

If we started again, we would computerize vastly different things.

And I think we might be better for it.

Published in Business & Communities


  1. Gaye Prior Gaye Prior

    Hello Jo, The very idea of someone making me work without a computer gives me the shivers! In my line of work – being that I am a number cruncher computers spare me a great deal of tedious work.

    I find myself thinking of a job I did 25 years ago which took me over a month to do that I could do in perhaps a week now – and have the ability to easily experiment with “what if’s”. I guess though this is not really what you are talking about? Am I missing your piont?


    • Jo Jordan Jo Jordan

      Oh just a temporary removal! This began with a conversation with @dominiccampbell about getting police constables to twitter. I thought they might walk the beat first. Computers only streamline what we do. They don’t create it.

      And once I started writing, I realized that if we do imagine a blank slate, we might computerize completely different things to the ones we have. It might be a good exercise.

      Most of the things I did 25 years ago, I wouldn’t bother with know. They were over-processed and were showing off technique not adding value! Not everything of course, but quite a lot!

      I use computers 16 hours a day, but they have to be as abused as plastic wrap!

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