Any change is better than no change
Published: 04/19/2009 04:27 p.m.
I have made some fairly major changes in the past year (move to NYC, quit and move back to TX, etc.) and have discovered that any change is better than no change. The reason for this is what you can learn from change.
When something changes, you are able to perform a comparison. After comparing two things, you can determine which is best for your specific need. This could be comparing menu items at a local Mexican restaurant or comparing sales results by using different compensation plans. By comparing A to B (or C) you can measure effectiveness.
Effectiveness is not to be confused with efficiency, as it is easy to do. Efficiency is about getting rid of waste. Effectiveness is about being more successful. Unless you are a garbage man, the two are not closely related.
Assuming you want to succeed, then you probably want to increase effectiveness. Sometimes the more effective method is the most efficient, but this is not a requirement. Quality Assurance at a factory may seem cost lots of time and cash, but it is a very effective way to satisfy customers and make more sales.
Change, when measured and tracked, leads to comparisons which allow for decisions to be made in effectiveness. The change actions and the measuring and tracking end up being the hardest things to do, because they fall into the category of non-immediate, long-term, and not always fun. According to the 7 habits, this is zone 2, which is most important.
Change is good. Even when you change to something that is less effective, that information in the long run can be much more valuable than the cost of the loss from that poor change.
"If it ain't broke don't fix it" is great advice for a market with zero growth and zero competition. But, I don't think I'll ever be in that market.