Progress. Like genius, it too is a double edged sword. But still, ever forward. Change hits most people in an awkward and uncomfortable place, but I am a bit of a change junkie, and I think that is why I am so well suited to the job that I get to do for the Co-op, for there is no better way to inspire change than to be truly excited about it.
Let’s just say it, the co-op has been around for a long time and there are a lot of people and processes in place that have been around for a good long time. Change is hard in any situation, but in situations where people rely on things to be the same, it is even more challenging.
What have we done? What will we do? Well, that depends on the people, and that is why it is great to work for a co-op. You get to have conversations with people about what is on the horizon. You have the opportunity to learn their fears, their dreams, their hopes and their hunger. Change gets the opportunity to be mashed up within the co-op machine; massaged until it works for us. Change is a human process here. Everyone has a hand in it.
For example: The seasonal playbook procedures. We rolled the playbooks out to the managers, then the employees, and then, to the customer. Why? Because we knew if the managers and employees had an opportunity to correct and improve the playbooks before the program was rolled out to the customer, everyone would be better served.
Same with the grab n go expansion: The cooks and employees came up with all of the new offerings based on requests they got from customers and their own research and knowledge base. The production procedures were roughly outlined, but the managers, cooks and counter workers at the downtown location fine tuned the process until it worked perfectly for the operation.
I have been accused more than once of being a little bit, shall we say, assertive, when it comes to change. Some may even accuse me of being aggressive. But by depending on the people I work with and for to improve and perfect the systems, I don’t need to be in any way shape or form, pushy. I don’t need to be anything at all. It is the best kind of change there is; ever forward, and ever reliant on the input from everyone involved.