It’s a cold, wet, and dark night and you hear the rain pounding the windows of the corner office next to your cubical. The darkness crept in rather quickly as it does this time of year. You haven’t eaten lunch, or at least you don’t remember eating lunch because you haven’t moved from your desk in 8 hours. You’ve been at the office since 7:00am and you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. Finally, the need to move pushes your chair back and you stand up for a long overdue stretch.
“There has to be a better way…”, you mumble to yourself.
You’ve been staring at paperwork all day and it doesn’t make sense to you. You KNOW this information is created on a computer but you don’t understand why it was printed; yet there you are staring at a once beautiful tree. Finally, the realization that you have more work to do kicks in and you sit down and pick up where you left off.
Well, that may be the extreme situation but in every exaggeration there is an element of truth. Many organizations are realizing the benefits of automating the most paper intensive part of a particular business process but fail at continuing to evaluate the entire lifecycle of information in that business process. Ultimately, there comes a decision point where you decide Yes or No to printing the document. This could be to get a signature, collate information from multiple systems in a ‘common’ format, or just plain, old stubbornness. Either way, what’s a couple of documents between friends, right? Just put them in a small file somewhere. They won’t take up too much space.
Space isn’t necessarily the issue, although it plays a role. Think about it this way: image you board a bullet train headed from New York to LA, but instead of the express, you find yourself on the local train. How efficient is that? Of course there are space concerns, security concerns, and retention policy concerns but those issues just drive the want for more digital documents and integration to streamline the business. For change to occur, and the business process to be transformed, you need to find the catalyst.
The catalyst is an event which transforms the want to a need. Examples of a catalyst could be an office move or consolidation, negative audit results, an organizational restructuring, or a new C-level hire who successfully implemented this type of progressive change at their last company. Find the catalyst.
Find the catalyst and change the world.