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Difficult People


Following an enthusiastic meeting where all division leaders agreed on implementing new reports and dynamic dashboards, the CRM team eagerly deployed the new system to all groups across the globe. It appeared that everyone would benefit from this improved CRM infrastructure, and it was expected to enhance operational efficiency exponentially.


Weeks later the CRM team was surprised to receive numerous support tickets from a specific division shortly after the deployment. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the dissatisfaction arose from staff at several levels were being coerced to use the new CRM system, which they saw as a redundant and meaningless task. The Reason? Further investigation uncovered that the leader of the disgruntled division had indeed forced everyone to use the new CRM system despite still wanting to see “his” old reports. This resulted in double the division's workload, negatively impacting morale.


Despite the new reports and dashboards being fully operational, they became virtually worthless due to poor leadership decisions and a reluctance to adapt to newer, and agreed upon, technologies. What is even worse, the leader's peers in other divisions soon followed suit, leading to widespread frustration and further casting doubt on the new CRM system. This one poor decision significantly impacted data quality. It caused tremendous damage, requiring a new PR campaign to change the course of action. Duplicative and triplicate training sessions had to be conducted to remedy the situation, leading to a significant waste of resources and effort.

Lessons Learned:

This situation highlights the importance of effective leadership buy-in when implementing new technology systems. It is unfortunate, but in this case, someones “word” to use the CRM was not good enough. A SLA should have been created. Leaders must align their efforts with their organization's ultimate goals and understand the impact of their actions on the people who work within the organization. It is essential to ensure leaders are fully invested in the implementation process and trained in the system's functionality beforehand. If leaders do not embrace a technological change, their behavior can quickly spread throughout the organization and decrease morale.

In addition, as an organization rolls out a new technological system, it is crucial to ensure that all teams have adequate training and support (at all levels) to make the transition as smooth as possible. Confirming that team leaders understand and are committed to the system's goal ensures a smooth transition. It is also essential to ensure that the new system simplifies workflows and does not create additional headaches. Finally, the information presented should emphasize the benefits of the new system. A clear and concise message regarding a new system could help address anxiety and skepticism and promise the benefits of the new implementation.

Investing time in effective leadership and providing proper education and training is crucial when implementing new technological systems. Additionally, it is essential to communicate often and transparently while ensuring that the new system's goals are understood and embraced. By doing so, an organization can avoid befuddlement, decrease inefficiencies, and fully embrace a new approach to advance its operation.




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