By Eric Roman, president, laboratory consumables, Thermo Fisher Scientific
The very nature of many scientific processes creates habitual behaviors. Often these habits are effectively passed from senior lab generations to younger ones. Old habits can be hard to break, especially in a time-pressured lab environment. People don’t often want to take the time to learn a new way of working or break attachments to their favored equipment, especially when the “old methods are working just fine.” However, as laboratory leaders, it is critical to make meaningful changes to daily routines and the equipment used. It is the role of the lab managers, as the drivers of growth, to be able to identify areas for improvement and help their teams see the real value in a new way forward. Communication needs to be part of the everyday functioning — at all levels — to anticipate hurdles and identify solutions. Collaborative identification of challenges and improvements helps to set the foundation for buy-in and successful change.