Last week I had surgery to my knee. It was to repair a torn meniscus and to try and address some cartilage damage. This is not a totally unusual procedure if you have spent much of your youth allowing large, heavily muscled, young men to throw themselves at your knees at high speed!! A small price to pay for the opportunity to carry an oblong ball over a white line drawn on grass.

The surgery was elective. I could have continued my life with some slight discomfort, and if I was prepared to slow down my activities then the knee could have been serviceable for many years to come. The problem is that I really don’t want to slow down or deal with constant discomfort. There are still far too many games to play, mountain trails to hike, and slopes to descend not to make the decision to fix the knee.  I guess this is often the reason we decide to evaluate and implement a new system, right? Things are going okay, there may be a bit of pain, but the strong motive is the prospect of things being better, for longer.

So, I did what any smart(ish) person would do: I evaluated surgeons. Then I selected a date and I got my knee fixed… simple! The whole process took just over an hour. Before I knew it, me and my new knee were ready to be released from the day-surgery. But before I could break free, I was introduced to my two new best friends: crutch1 and crutch2. 

These delightful orthopaedic devices are designed to assist and support the patient through recovery and rehabilitation. I have never hated two inanimate objects more!!

How can two devices that are supposed to be helping me recover be so infuriating, so irritating, and so damn painful? Everything is different and uncomfortable and awkward. Simple tasks that I do every day, like going to the bathroom, have now become like the trials of Hercules. I had dinner with one of our Board members last night and I ended up clunking about 400 meters to a public restroom because I could not deal with the 10-meter trip up the spiral staircase to the restaurants men’s room.  It’s frustrating because I am not yet adjusted to the new way of doing things and my muscle memory hasn’t been developed for the change.

This is very similar I guess to the way business users feel when dealing with a new system. It is all strange and unfamiliar, and nothing works in quite the same way. That’s why we give them our own version of crutch1 and crutch2, our Customer Success Managers and an Account Manager. They are also there to help, and just like crutches, it may take some time to get used to how they work.

They are often going to make you do things differently to the way you are comfortable or conditioned to. It will take some time to adjust to these different demands, but you have to believe that in the long run, it is in your own best interest.  As with crutches, for a (hopefully) short period of time, you are going to be thrown out of your comfort zone completely, and you are going to have to learn a new set of skills. At times, the effort to complete what were once simple tasks seems to be just too much. This awkward adjustment phase is crucial to both a successful recovery and a new system deployment. You have to trust in the experience and the skills of the CSM and AM, they are only there for your benefit and long-term value.

Right now, I am tempted to discard these despicable crutches and find some short- term relief. The outcome of that decision would not be great in the long term though. The pressure on my injury would cause the knee to develop hard bone tissue and not the much-needed soft cartilage that my dodgy old knee requires. I would get no value from the surgery, and find myself in a situation that may be worse than before. My only option then would be a lifetime of limited activity or more, very expensive surgery.  

Not utilising and trusting your CSM and AM because of the “discomfort” it may create will have the same effect on your deployment. They are there to assist you with your transition and to support you in the process. If you want maximum return on your investment, you will have to utilize their support and guidance even when it feels uncomfortable.  Embrace the change, embrace the support and you know that on the other side of the deployment you are going to have a healthy system that will set you up for many years of success. 

 Good Luck and see you on the mountain.       

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