"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad." -- C.S. Lewis
The month of May brings with it great evidence of change. Spring's effects finally can be seen in the colorful blooms in our gardens. Everything smells better with the newfound flora. Everything feels better with the welcome change to warmer weather. And the students graduating from colleges and universities enter a world filled with new change and opportunity. Change is everywhere and we are unable to stop it. We must change, we allow it, we embrace it and let it happen.
Another great reminder of change was evident in the annual Henry Stewart DAM New York conference that took place on April 30 – May 2. For three days, DAM practitioners, professionals and vendors came together to share their wisdom, engage in vigorous debate and exhibit the latest and greatest that DAM has to provide.
With such a gathering of intellect and passion, there are always key talking points that resonate with the crowd and rise to the top of conversations. DAM issues such as metadata and rights management were there to be heard and argued by the crowd. The issue of “change” and in particular “change management” was there in force, receiving greater buzz than in previous years. Besides those who were seeking to change their old DAM to a new DAM, and others debating the conundrum of whether or not to upgrade, the idea of “change management” resonated for many for a much more holistic and enterprise point of view. Change was (and is) a topic of a much bigger degree and scale.
Change is Everywhere
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." -- Albert Einstein
Technological innovation results in a constantly evolving business environment. Social media is a great example of how technology and communication has created change in our work. Human beings possess an innate desire to interact and socialize. Over the past few decades, new communication technologies -- such as email, the Internet and mobile devices -- have become widely adopted. These tools allow us to communicate faster, more frequently and to a larger audience than previously possible.
Social media represents the latest evolution of communication technology and employees may have a variety of social media technology tools at their disposal. Executives are watching to determine whether corporate social media technology use is merely a passing fad or a process and business technology that will ultimately improve the bottom-line or extend reach.
In another example of present-day change, the “semantic web” allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise and community boundaries. This evolution of the web is changing the existing flow of information within the modern business organization transforming it into a place where, “learning with and from others encourages knowledge transfer and connects people in a way consistent with how we naturally interact.” This evolution of the modern business organization may be seen as a fulfillment of the definition of the semantic web as a conduit in data sharing thus transforming business. DAM is central to this change.
Information and all its data and digital assets has become more available, accessible and in some ways more accountable in business. We live in a big data world with so much data at our discretion and under considerable watch and scrutiny from our content creators, users and stakeholders alike. Our organizations need to change as well and not only be prepared for the change, but respond well and be comfortable with our solutions.
I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed." -- George Carlin
Change management is an approach to transitioning or changing people, groups of people, processes and technology to a desired, future state within an organization. The concept and practice of change management was born in the consulting world in the 1980s driven by the need to understand performance and adoption techniques to allow for greater innovation and organizational adoption methods. One of the premier researchers and thought leaders on change management, Dr. John Kotter, reminds us all that
70 percent of all major change efforts in an organization fail … because organizations often do not take the holistic approach required to see the change through. ”
Change management is a structured approach to ensure changes are made in order to achieve some form of long-term benefits. DAM is all about change: changing the way we understand what is an asset, digital and physical, in our organizations and how its value may be transcended throughout all layers of the organization. With such change, the contemporary business organization is motivated by exterior factors (e.g., competition and innovation) to adapt quicker than their competitors to avoid getting left behind.