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4 March 2024
Reading time:  6 minutes

A Culture Shock?

Nobody welcomes change - except a baby! That's what they say - and when we, as adults, are faced with change we are at best wary and at worst downright hostile. Why should we ditch our comfortable, familiar surroundings for something which seems foreign and inhospitable? Perhaps we need to reappraise where we are and where we could be.

A Step too Far?

The new, revamped MyDriveTime (MDT2) looks and feels completely different to the old version (MDT1), and it can come as a bit of a shock. When you get to my age, change is something you avoid unless you have no choice.  The increasing speed of technological advancement can be overwhelming and part of me thinks that I can’t possibly adjust fast enough, if at all.  When you add to that the apparent culture change within MyDriveTime, it is at best uneasy and at worst downright terrifying.

Generally, as instructors we have the same start point and the same goal in that we take learners and turn out safe drivers with a test pass behind them.  The way in which we do that is as individual to us as learners are to each other.  The destination is the same, the route may be different.  However, although the route may be different, ultimately it still consists of roads, roundabouts, junctions, traffic lights etc., and the learner must learn how to deal with all of those.

When I started my business, I was encouraged to find a Unique Selling Point (USP) to make me stand out from the competition.  Whilst we have enjoyed a period of much demand and less supply, this is going to change – nothing good lasts forever, right?  When the bubble bursts, if it hasn’t already, then having a USP is going to become much more important.  We need to be able to add value to our product, driving instruction, to encourage potential customers to come to us.  We need to become better at how we deliver what we deliver. 

If I’m hungry, I can go to a restaurant.  I could opt for the local burger joint, or I could opt for a Michelin starred establishment.  Both will feed me (and meet my immediate need) – but which one will I remember?  The burger joint?  I don’t think so (unless it is really bad!) 

Likewise, when I'm teaching people to drive, I can give them the absolute basics so that they can pass their test, then promptly forget about me.  Or, I can deliver them a service that is so exceptional, they go out of their way to recommend me. 

What I deliver and how it is delivered is down to me

I judge, based on the learners needs, abilities and wishes, how to deliver what is right for them.  However, I want to deliver it in a consistently exceptional way. MDT2 guides me through, step by step, so that the quality I deliver is always the same. It provides a range of tools which I can employ on an as needed basis to provide the best experience possible.

MDT1 allowed me to provide a basic service, a burger if you like. (It was a tasty burger, but it was still a burger!)

MDT2 allows me to provide an exceptional service, 'the' burger. (One that won't be forgotten, for all the right reasons!)

The Right Tool for the Right Job

I don’t know if you have ever tried to core an apple with a knife. You can do it, but the chance of it looking perfect is small - and the chance of stabbing yourself through the hand in the attempt is quite high! If you have an apple corer, it’s done in a jiffy, and it looks as though it was done properly. Whilst you wouldn’t use an apple corer for anything else it is the perfect tool for the task of coring an apple.

Does anyone ever use a pizza cutter for anything other than cutting a pizza? Ever tried cutting a pizza with a knife? Just seems to drag all the toppings to one side of the pizza! However, a pizza cutter is the perfect tool, (even if certain national pizza companies don't know how to use them properly!) Having the right tool for the job is important and knowing how to use it is just as important.

Time for a New Toolbox

MDT2 is a new toolbox with a lot of tools already in it.  Some of the tools are familiar; a diary is a diary is a diary!  Some are new versions of old tools; they do the same job as the old tools but in a new way and you need to learn how to use them effectively, e.g., details of lessons are recorded in a different way.  Some are brand new, the PA and the SCI monitor for example.  You don’t have to use all of them e.g., I never use the unavailability feature in the diary, but they are there if you want/need them.  As the app develops there will be more tools provided, some of which you’ll know because you’ll have seen them elsewhere, some will be completely new and will solve a problem that you never even knew you had.

So why is MDT2 necessary?  Why can’t I have the same tools in MDT1?  Simply put, the toolbox would have given way.  It wasn’t strong enough and there was no room for new tools.  It’s old and tatty and whilst it brings a sense of comfort, I need more, better tools and that requires a new, stronger toolbox to put them in. 

Why can’t I just stay with MDT1? – it does what I want!  So does MDT2.  Your skills haven’t changed.  Day by day, you are still instructing and doing it in the same way.  MDT2 supports you to do that and will continue to do so.  However, it provides you with a variety of tools so that you can enhance the way that you do things now.  You don’t have to use any of these tools but ultimately it makes it easier to provide a better quality service to your customers.

Change is scary.  However, your skills as a driving instructor are not changing.  What you do now, you will continue to do.  Business tools are changing and MyDriveTime is no exception, but in the same way as MDT1 allowed you to instruct, so does MDT2.  Your business remains secure and with a little time invested in understanding the basics of MDT2, you will soon become comfortable with how it works and the range of tools you now have at your disposal.

Time to Change

Klaus Schwab, the German Economist, said "Change can be frightening, and the temptation is often to resist it. But change almost always provides opportunities - to learn new things, to rethink tired processes, and to improve the way we work."

MDT1 was the past, MDT2 is the present and the future; it is here right now. It provides opportunities. It's new but it's also familiar. It's frightening but it's also comforting. It's fresh but it's also well known. It's a vehicle for improvement and you already have the skills to drive it.

Is it time to embrace change and all that that has to offer?

About Emma Ashley

I have been an independent ADI in Kent for the last 14 years having worked in IT for a good many years before that. Although I have recently joined MyDriveTime as QA Manager and Support Guru, I continue to work as an instructor as well, so that the MyDriveTime app can benefit directly from the experience of a working ADI. However, I was the first MDT user who had the opportunity to migrate from MDT1 to MDT2 so feel that I am well qualified to understand the reluctance to do so and encourage others to follow.

Written by
Emma Ashley

Award-winning admin app for instructors & multi-car schools


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