Tackle the Status Quo in Your Workplace

12 Dec, 2012 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Change is scary, even when there's a good reason for it. To ease the transition to new methods, demonstrate how they'll save time and increase efficiency.

We've all heard this conversation in our office at one point or another:

CAD manager: "Why are we doing this?"
CAD user: "I don't know; we've just always done things this way."

As one of my students once told me, that's not a reason, that's an excuse! It's an excuse to avoid putting in the effort required to make things better.

So how can CAD managers battle the status quo mindset? Here are a few methods that have always worked for me:

  • Point out wasted time. If we could alter our processes to streamline our work, reduce needless steps, and get things moving, wouldn't it make sense to do so?
  • Ruthlessly attack rework. Rework means extra man-hours to fix problems, and those extra hours cost money, right? The follow-up question would be, Why are we continuing to use processes that lead to rework?
  • Advocate for efficiency. If you want to change the status quo, you need a reason to do so. Making things faster, less costly, and more efficient are great reasons. "Because I said so" is a poor reason, and one that will undoubtedly result in resistance from users.
  • Make change less threatening. Show me somebody who hides behind the "We've always done it that way" credo, and I'll show you somebody who's afraid to learn new methods! Show these people how new methods work, and demonstrate their benefits. As you do so, don't judge and don't belittle — just teach. Until people want to learn, they won't.

Now start talking about saving time, cutting rework, and becoming more efficient, while constantly illustrating that change doesn't have to be that hard. Adopt these attitudes and management will perceive that you're improving their business, while users will see you as an advocate for upgrading their skills. It’s a win–win–win situation!

Do you have a tip or question for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!


About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

Add comment

Note: Comments are moderated and will appear live after approval by the site moderator.


Re: Tackle the Status Quo in Your Workplace
by: imadhabash
December 18, 2012 - 1:26am
Dear Robert, Thanks for every word,you just put your finger on pain. ( just teach. Until people want to learn, they won't) this is the most powerful and meaningful sentence that describe the fact to be a CAD manager. hope to meet you ... Best regards, Imad Habash Amman-Jordan
AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter

Do you use social media — such as Facebook or Twitter updates, YouTube videos, or discussion forums — for work-related purposes?
Yes, I regularly use such resources for work-related purposes.
Yes, but on a limited or infrequent basis.
No, because my employer frowns upon or prohibits doing so.
No, because I don’t have the time or interest.
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition