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Making changes…

Cuboree 2010Last week, I found out that cuboree (a big camping event for cubs in Victoria that I went on last year) has been moved. Instead of being in April 2011, it will be in September 2010 is the latest news in scouting. The previous five cuborees have been three years apart and in the March/April school holidays, so the date has surprised many people.

Not only has the change surprised people, but it has also annoyed and angered many leaders as well. The change from March to September was made for logistical reasons – it is easier to prepare such a large event later in the year for a voluntary group that effectively shuts down over summer.

However, the event could have been moved forwards to September 2011 or backwards to September 2010.

Moving forwards had the disadvantage of meaning some children would miss a cuboree on age rules – easily fixed by adding 6 months to the maximum age for that one cuboree.

Moving backwards has a number of disadvantages – it is sooner and in the same year as jamboree so leaders will potentially have trouble getting time off work and away from families, not to mention risking being exhausted and reluctant to help at future events, being the same year as jamboree makes it difficult for leaders and cubs to afford cuboree, being the same year as jamboree is a strain on groups preparing and possibly funding children going on these camps.

Many leaders are unhappy with the new date and are following this up so the dates may  yet change.

Making changes in business

Aside from my personal interest in the timing of cuboree, there is a business perspective to this story!

Making smooth changes

Changing from plan A to plan B

Sometimes, it is necessary to make a change in business, even to long established practices. And those changes may just have to be implemented without much notice or consultation. However, the change is likely to be much smoother if you notify people as soon as possible and explain the reasons for the change if they are likely to be inconvenienced or annoyed by it.

So tell leaders that cuboree is moving to September because time is needed to organise it in the lead up. Simple.

If a change affects many people, especially if you have staff or key stakeholders, the ideal is to involve them in the change process. Ask their opinions, get their suggestions and listen to their objections. You may still do what you had planned but

  • they will feel better and more in control if they were involved, which means they are more likely to support the change
  • you will know what objections and challenges may arise and therefore prepare for them in advance
  • you may be able to adjust the plan a little to reduce concerns and problems
  • you will have more confidence that your business will survive and thrive with the change

Humans generally struggle with change, but a consultative process is easier to deal with.

How have you managed any major changes in your business? Or have you been an employee in a business undergoing big changes – what worked or didn’t work?

2 Responses to Making changes…

  • Wayne Kerr says:

    Move with times you Old Folk Deployment at a moments notice will keep you on your toes step aside and i will take time off work have fun watch kid grow, time is critical stop talking and DO .

  • tashword says:

    Thanks for commenting Wayne.

    Time is critical so why not make changes as smooth as possible so you don’t need to spend as much time tidying up problems or dealing with low morale afterwards?

    Change is inevitable and healthy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be dealt with in a way that helps people cope with it. Struggling with change has nothing to do with age, either – why do you think schools now work hard to help chidlren adjust to a new environment and parents keep children in routines as much as possible?

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