Overcoming Excel Spreadsheet Inertia
In 1687, Isaac Newton published a three-volume treatise which revolutionized humanity’s understanding of the physical world. Book One of Newton’s Principia contains Newton’s three laws of motion, which describe the responses of physical bodies to forces acting upon them. Sir Isaac expressed the first law as follows: "Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed." Physical objects are heavily inclined to preserve their current status.
While Newton’s studies were devoted to exploring phenomena in the natural world, the inertia principle certainly applies to human behavior as well. That is, individuals and organizations tend to resist changing their course until powerful external factors compel them to do so. In the case of financial institutions, the global credit crisis of 2008-2009 and consequent regulatory reforms present a powerful impetus to change organizational behaviors and processes.