by Patrick McLaughlin
It has become a cliche because, like many cliches, it has been shown to be true quite often. We all exist in a world full of change. Somewhere along the line I heard (and believed, and still believe) that in business what we're really managing is change. We might indeed be managing people, processes, even whole companies. But at its core our work is managing through the changes that can have significant impact on our business efforts.
In that vein, much of the content in this month's issue reflects the changing world in which we work. Some articles are more subtle about it, like the one on aisle containment (page 19) that states today's solution might not be 100-percent appropriate in the future if the network or parts of it ... change.
For other articles, the concept of change is the fundamental theme. Through our industry's news-reporting sources, you likely already are aware that two well-known and long-standing vendor partnerships (NetClear and NextLAN) have come to an end. The four principals involved have developed and launched new programs, titled Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies and nCompass. The article that begins on page 33 discusses these changes through the prism of the contractor-training programs delivered by the respective organizations.
And test-equipment provider Fluke Networks unveils to the world its Versiv platform of fiber-optic and copper certification tools this month (page 37). The entire premise behind the product set's existence is that over the past several years, the business of system acceptance has changed for cabling contractors as well as the user organizations that ultimately pay for and own structured cabling systems (as well as the documentation of those systems' certified performance).
In conversations that take place above my sphere of understanding, management consultants discuss the merits of making change for change's sake. Many contend it is good and indeed necessary for an organization to shake things up periodically to avoid accumulating rust on its operational practices, its measures of accountability, and especially its contact with customers. Others say that change for change's sake most often produces unnecessary pain.
I think it's mostly a semantic argument. While the phrase "change for change's sake" might be viewed skeptically, change for the sake of improvement is always a good practice. Being proactive about such change is better than being reactive. ::
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