Why do I do it this way?

Jo-Anne Oliveri
Jo-Anne Oliveri | 3 min. read
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Published on September 26, 2011

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working in all facets of the property management industry and, in doing so, have come to an understanding. An understanding reached after years of seeking answers to the following questions:

  • Why do I do it this way?
  • Why am I here?
  • What is my purpose?

Much like the questions of life really.

I have a tendency to get pretty deep and meaningful, but all those years ago as I went to work every day and found myself confused on so many occasions, those were the questions I was asking myself and my teammates.

How did my teammates respond?

“Just because that’s the way we do it.”

“But why, why do we do it this way?”

“That’s just the way we have always done it.”

And then I would get that look – you know the one, the glare telling me to stop rocking the boat and just get on with my day.

Well that’s nigh on impossible for me. That’s like putting a penguin in amongst the seals and telling the little penguin that it’s really a seal and to think and act like one so the seals don’t get upset…and eat it. I can’t pretend to say or do things just because it’s the accepted way and not understand why it’s done that way!

Don’t ever give me that answer. It actually challenges me more. So, me being me, I ruffled feathers and even got up people’s noses. I simply can’t do things just because that’s the way it’s always been done. I must find out if it really is the best or right way to do something.

I upset a lot of people, but as time went on, I realized the people I upset were the ones who were stressed by change and perhaps came into the industry for the wrong reasons. The industry won’t grow if we simply keep doing things just because “that’s the way we have always done it.”

So, if you have those people on your team, gently take their hand and let them know that it’s okay, and in fact, easy, to go with change. Goodness knows, change is actually going to make their lives so much easier! Who would have thought! If you have these people on your team, what effect are they having on your business, team, clients, brand and reputation? Yes, a confronting question.

Let’s take it one step further. What effect are they having on the industry, our industry? The answer – a terrible effect. The industry on a global scale has a negative reputation and that frustrates me because that could so easily be changed!

But all is not lost. I’m throwing out a challenge. I want the industry to stop and think every time they complete a task, every time they interact with clients, every time they do anything within the scope of their day-to-day working life really. I want everyone to ask themselves, “Why do I do it this way?” I want teams to challenge themselves at team meetings and ask collectively, “Why do we do it this way?”

Let’s hear your answers. Let’s share ideas. Let’s debate and challenge those ideas. And let’s come up with the solutions that will change the way we do things and show our clients we are not stuck in complacency.

So tell me… “Why do I do it this way?”

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Jo-Anne Oliveri

Jo-Anne Oliveri is Managing Director of ireviloution intelligence in East Brisbane, Australia, which empowers principals and property management teams creating and operating business by design.

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