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It’s perhaps become a bit of cliché but change really is the only constant in any successful business these days. Technology continues to astound and terrify in equal measure, presenting organisations with unprecedented opportunity – as well as challenge.
Rather than the idea of change itself being an organisational challenge however, leaders should be focussed on creating change before change becomes necessary. Many high-profile examples from around the world show that if this stage arrives, it is often too late.
It is essential that businesses do not ignore the essence and heritage that made them successful, embracing their history and innovation equally. Technology can be at the heart of the way you work, however, any major changes will come with hurdles. Dynamics, inertia, and resistance are natural and need to be overcome. However, with total clarity on a vision for change and making clear the many benefits innovation brings, you can make strong progress in the past few years.
True synergy between heritage and transformation is only achievable though embracing dynamism, willingly disrupting the status quo and being uncompromising on digital transformation; whilst at the same time understanding history of a business and the core of what made it great.
Such a process doesn’t come without its challenges. There are two key areas in any organisational change project – the ‘solution’ side of change and the ‘people’ side.
The solution side – the likes of products, competitive advantage, operations, processes, and technology – typically garners most attention given it is the cornerstone what digital transformational change is. However, I would argue that the people side of change is most critical in achieving a successful change project. What use is a comprehensive solution-side innovation, if it isn’t implemented effectively or doesn’t affect behaviour change?
The people side of transformational change is a four-step process:
1. Change in awareness
Provide the business & operational context about the need for change. Everybody is aware change is a necessity, make the case compelling and detail the impact it will have for the organisation and its people.
2. Change in commitment
Detail the vision and the story for change. Share the strategy and move through the key dimensions of involvement, communication, enablement, measurement and mindset.
3. Change in behaviour
Decide upon tactics and interventions that will determine behaviour change. Have a change roadmap and support all levels of the organisation with what successful new behaviours look like. Change agents are critical in this phase – train the trainer concept.
4. Change in mindset
To successfully achieve a mindset of change, communication is everything. Creatively communicate the new style of playing and working. Lead from the front with transparency, authenticity and honesty