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Managing Change In A Fleet, With A Little Help From Your Data

Change: A Good Idea

Fleet excellence, performance excellence, operational excellence and many similar projects have crossed my path in various roles and positions that I have held in my life. All of them have one thing in common: there is a significant change required for improvement to be made possible. Optimisation, of course, is essential for any business. It is great talking about these improvement projects in any organisation and they generally come out of what I term ‘The Good Idea Bag’ – but what, actually, are they? And how do you make them work for you? After all, it’s easy to engage with an improvement program and put in a huge amount of effort, only to find out that improvements are not being made. Then you end up spending time trying to justify your work.

As I’ve built experience and knowledge of leadership, management, project and change management (as an army officer, an operations director and now a business owner), coupled with a general desire to improve things, a blog on the subject seemed like a good idea (from The Bag, of course). Over the next 6 months, I will be publishing one blog post a month. At the end, this series of posts will be put together in an e-book, that will be available to download as a guide to change management and the benefits you can expect from an improvement program. We invite anyone from the blogging community to add their own insights, thoughts and views on the subject in the comments section at the bottom of the page. I’ll include some of the best contributions in future posts – and contributors will be fully accredited and find their way into the e-book at the end of the series.

Driving Change In Your Business

We will be looking at and discussing a number of subject areas over the next few months:

  1. Areas for Change
  2. Why Change?
  3. Problems Associated with Change
  4. People in the Change Process
  5. The Benefits of Change

I welcome comments and input. Effective change is only possible through a collaboration of minds trying to get from point A to point B in a structured manner.

Hearts & Minds

Change requires an ‘enabler’, something that gives you information and on which you can base your decisions. Or a catalyst, something or someone that makes things happen. Without that, conducting a change process is exceptionally difficult. Identifying and understanding that enabler makes the change process easier to conduct, report and manage. In this instance we will be using telematics as a change enabler, as it has a far reaching effect on a number of business functions (including Operations, Finance, Human Resources, Sales and IT). My own experience of using telematics information allowed me to improve driver behaviour, introduce improved management structures and realised both operational and customer benefits in both the operations and sales environments. I’ll be drawing on my experiences of running successful change management projects, and the unique insights I’ve gained as a result, throughout this blog series.

A change project must have structure to it for effective management. But it must not be rigid, as change projects require flexibility to cope with a shifting environment and the needs of stakeholders.

Change is all about ‘Hearts and Minds’. Win the hearts and minds and change will be achieved. This requires strong change leadership. It has been said that ‘change is easy, changing people is difficult’. In today’s environment change is a constant requirement, which we all conduct to varying degrees throughout our lives. In effect, we are all practitioners of change, even though we may not have realised it yet or understood how to tackle the variables and the management of the people in a change process.

We Need You

The aim of this blog post is to start a public discussion on the topic. We may veer off the planned format now and then, for a quick detour into new areas brought up in the debate, so we can be a comprehensive as possible. I look forward to reading your comments and insights.

This is the first post of a four-part blog series on managing change for businesses with vehicles, using useful data insights, by special guest blogger Michael Rayner.

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