eSCRIBE’s ability to produce dramatic cost savings and efficiencies with their eco-friendly automated meeting packages is well known. But with the right team players possessing the right ingredients for success, a lightning fast, two-week implementation impressed the Township of North Huron and revealed just how efficient eSCRIBE can be.
Culture of Change, Culture of Success
Harvard Business Review, The Economist and Wall Street Journal all agree that a culture of flexibility and open mindedness in an organization’s ability to manage change is critically important. North Huron is a small, rural Ontario municipality that possesses the same progressive traits as the most successful Fortune 500 companies.
When Manager of Employee and Business Services Richard Al approached eSCRIBE, he knew that going to paperless meetings and the inevitable change in some business processes would be initially challenging for staff and Council. But while change is difficult, he knew that not changing would be fatal. A growing town, longer agendas, reams of paper required for council meetings and overburdened administration staff were a recipe for defeat. In addition, a pending shared services agreement with neighbouring municipality Morris-Turnberry was about to add real complexity to the delivery of public works, building services, drainage services and administration services.
The need was great and the time was now.
Al and North Huron’s Clerk described their manual way of doing things to eSCRIBE and wanted to know what the options were. eSCRIBE answered the call with a proposed solution, and Richard quickly realized it was time to stop thinking of the possibilities and start doing what was necessary.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
The last item on the Council’s agenda before Christmas break was to approve the expenditure of implementing eSCRIBE technology. With stunning efficiency and teamwork, by mid-January North Huron was up and running with a new system of meeting management that gave everyone an optimistic view of 2016.
A two-week implementation of software and training was unprecedented. But because the right players possessed the right attitude, what would often take six weeks was fully functional in only fourteen days. The process was concise but thorough. During the first week, Business Process Review had all parties understanding the day-to-day operations of North Huron Council and committee needs. Meeting Configuration provided North Huron the integration solution for today, along with their vision for an automated future. Verification and Testing provided the run-through with IT, and then they launched right into Administrator Training. The second week saw the Mock Meeting and then a review of the Administrator’s Training before the first live meeting on January 20, 2016.
Philosophically and practically speaking…
Manager of Employee and Business Services Richard Al and eSCRIBE’s Vice President Paul Mackin become somewhat philosophical when asked about this particular project. Paul says, “The right attitude was there. Richard’s team accepted the small changes that would inevitably happen with automated meetings. And yet, software is flexible, so we adapted to their way as much as we could.”
Richard agrees. “We embraced the change because we saw the writing on the wall of what would happen if we didn’t automate our meetings, and grew excited with what eSCRIBE’s technology could do for us.” He adds, “We discovered that endless conversation about change was a barrier. Actually committing to doing something and then acting is what was required. Once we embraced the solution, the problem disappeared.”
The right attitude and allaying the fear of impending organizational change allowed for the practical, step-by-step implementation of that change. This powerful case study in efficiency shows just how fast real change can occur when the right players possess the right winning strategy.
Five Elements of Successful Change
- Understand the Need for Change. A clear understanding what’s not working and why it’s not working is required before any motivation to change can come about.
- Tackle the Fear of the Unknown. If a “this is how we’ve always done it” attitude persists, tackle that head on – break out the Underwood typewriter, highlighting that change is inevitable, necessary and worthwhile.
- Commit to Increasing Competency and Training. Lifelong learning is proven to be good for morale, team building and employee wellness.
- Open Communication. Bracing for change? An organization can’t have too much open communication and input from all parties.
- Benefits and Rewards. Understand what the future holds as a result of this change, and embody the reality of that organizational change. Socrates once said, “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not fighting the old, but on building the new.”
North Huron is successful because they embrace the proven and progressive ways of global business thinking. Harvard Business Review need look no further.