If it ain’t broke…

…don’t fix it!

Or at least that is how the saying goes. Humans by their very nature do not welcome or embrace change well. It’s in our DNA to steer away from danger and uncertainty, which are often perceived as a result of change. But what are the perils of such a motto to you and your business?

I have been working in the localisation industry for over 6 years now and have frequently come across this resistance to change.

Linguists are resistant to the concept of machine translation and the resulting post-editing. Project Managers are averse to changing a workflow which has been working well for several months. Business Development Managers continue to sell solutions which are built around the quality, cost and time triad – mainly because buyers of language services will focus on nothing else. On-boarding a new vendor seems too much trouble. Trying new technology is just too expensive and time-consuming. We are averse to risk and minimise it wherever possible; so not making that change is often seen to be the easier thing to do in our busy lives.

What if, what if, what if…

But what if a linguist could make more money through post-editing, rather than translating? What if spending X on a new piece of technology allows you to double revenue or save costs through manual processes? What if replacing an existing vendor enhances your language quality or makes your life easier?

With the above in mind, I have been guilty of making the sweeping statement that the localisation industry is stagnant. I don’t mean this in a derogatory way – we’ve actually seen some great innovations in recent years – but as one example; we do continue to focus all too often on time, quality and cost when selling and buying language services. My time at Capita Translation and Interpreting has been an exciting journey of transformation – as an individual, and as a business. We are striving to shake things up – internally and externally. We have embraced new technology. We are thinking creatively to drive leads and revenue growth into the business. We are continually assessing our processes and structures to ensure we can serve our clients. We have invested and taken on the financial risk in making such large outlays – but all of this change is starting to make great improvements across the board – more so than just in time, cost and quality.

Imagine what an industry we would be in if we hadn’t embraced translation memory

Embracing change can perhaps give some positive benefits – so whilst your processes and ways of thinking may not be broken, what are you missing out on that you weren’t aware of by not being open to the idea of change? After all, imagine what an industry we would be in if we hadn’t embraced translation memory; something we just now take as a standard practice – and I believe we were a little averse to that at the time too…


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