Change In the Air

Mike TillmanJoin The Conversation

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iStock_000019462364_XXXLargeEver ask yourself why change is necessary? Why can’t I just pick a destination and go there?

I fly quite a bit and get frustrated when I can’t go directly to my destination. I go online to make plans and find I have to fly to some city I have no interest in, change planes, and hope it all works out so I get where I want to go.

Who decided it was necessary to add this complication to my plans? Who decided my frustration was a fair price to pay? The journey would be so much easier if I could board one plane and go along for the ride. But change requires me to make adjustments — not to my destination, but to how I get there. Shouldn’t the airline consider my plans?

Well to be honest, they did. You see, the change didn’t alter my destination. It incorporates an efficiency that isn’t apparent to me, yet benefits the overall system. I get there – I just have to participate in a larger plan that reflects my needs as well as the needs of that business. If everything works, I benefit because they can keep costs low and give me flight options that otherwise might not exist. Admittedly, I have to make a leap of faith that I will benefit, but once I do, I’m not as bothered by walking a few steps to another gate in Atlanta to board a plane to Evansville, Indiana, from New Orleans in order to get to Robinson, Illinois.

The point is, the question shouldn’t be, “Why is change necessary?” It should be, “Is change beneficial?”

Right now, we’re changing a lot of things in operations at Rain CII. I want to make sure that as we change, we understand and communicate the benefits. As an example, we’re bringing our plant managers together to jointly manage key areas of our calcining operations, which means they have to think differently about budgeting and resource planning. They accept change because they understand the destination is the same: safe, reliable, and efficient operations. Everyone benefits from sharing best practices, resources, and expertise, collaborating on decisions across facilities and growing as one. In future blog posts, I look forward to sharing the expected benefits of the changes we’re making – and over time, how culture can support change and performance. While it isn’t as easy as just going along for the ride, I know we’ll all benefit from the journey.

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