‘Change’ can be a scary word. It evokes the fear of the unknown or breakdown of the status quo, and particularly in a professional sense it can make us feel as though we might lose what we have worked so hard for. But, as we all know, change is inevitable, and if it’s implemented correctly, better things can fall into place.
Shuchi knows a thing or two about change; in her words, “Wherever they need transformation, that’s where HP sends me.” For Shuchi, ‘change’ doesn’t need to be a spine-chilling concept – it’s about transformation, improvement, and growth.
Shuchi also explains that change management is about ‘getting down into the weeds’ and getting your hands dirty (“It can’t be achieved sitting in your ivory tower”), and also taking a direct, transparent and authentic approach. Being the person tasked with affecting change means there’s the possibility you’ll be viewed as tough or harsh, but a fair and consistent approach will earn you respect.
Another piece of advice for successful change that Shuchi offers is the importance of reassuring people that you’re not there to breeze in and completely turn everything on its head; let the team know you are working together on the things that can be improved. Don’t underestimate the value of the human touch and building a connection, as on a fundamental level, people work for people.
It’s an ever-changing industry and an ever-changing world whether we like it or not, so what does someone with expertise in managing change see success looking like ten years down the line, and more specifically a successful HP customer?
- Has a clear vision of where they want their business to go
- Runs a highly automated print shop, with a lot of integration up and down the value chain
- Uses data effectively and recognises it is key to becoming a better businessperson
- Isn’t afraid to explore the opportunities in modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain
- Understands the importance of keeping in step with brands as they evolve and continues to build strong relationships with them
- Identify what needs to change and build a transformation roadmap
This podcast was recorded at Dscoop during the Girls Who Print initiative “Women’s Print Herstory Month.” Shuchi shares some great advice for professional women, and just like her vision for change it starts with having a clear idea of where you want to take your career:
- Map out the skills and experience you want in order to get to that point
- Work with your current manager to plan how you can get those skills and experiences
- Find your own brand purpose
- Identify what might be stopping you, and get the training and improvement you need to overcome it
- If you can’t get that in your current organisation, consider looking outside the company – sometimes you need to move laterally in order to move up
- Take risks!
Karis Copp is a UK-based writer, journalist and communications expert. With a background as an editor and public relations specialist in the print industry, she now works on a freelance basis covering events, writing on industry news and trends, and working with businesses to help them tell their stories and connect with their customers. Follow her on Twitter @KarisCoppWrites.