How Change Management helps you to hold course
“We live in times in which digitalization is radically changing the business landscape across industries. To remain competitive, businesses around the world are increasingly investing in digital transformation.”
The failure rates of digital transformations remain high. These failures largely stem from the unique challenges associated with digital transformation, including shifting from the current culture to a more digital, entrepreneurial one, dealing with a lack of digital talent, working in cross- functional teams where silos have been the norm, meeting accelerated timelines due to higher customer expectations, and accepting evolving target states instead of fixed goals. What most business leaders underestimate is that digital transformation is not just about technology: Above all, it is about people. That makes it complex – thus requiring a new approach for managing the change.
From our experience with digitalization topics, we have identified three key imperatives in successful digital transformations. These imperatives have shaped our Integrated Change Management methodology:
- Instituting an integrated approach across facts – i.e., tangible elements such as technology, processes and social interactions – i.e., intangible elements such as culture and teams throughout the transformation journey and across the entire company
- Living agile by proactively updating change measures to meet both current needs and overall objectives effectively
- Adapting “classic” Change Management levers such as communication, leadership, team setup, training, etc. for digitalization needs
This paper analyzes real cases to provide a deeper, more practical understanding of how digital transformation can be a success story with the help of Integrated Change Management. At the end of the paper, you will find insights as well as key recommendations to start your own digital transformation journey with confidence.
“Change Management is a top 3 concern among executives when entering digital transformation projects.”
“Digital transformation? It’s all about the people!”
TOP FIVE CHALLENGES FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS
We live in times in which digitalization is radically changing the business landscape across industries. Companies worldwide are facing the challenge of managing the fast and repetitive adaptation of their organizations to suit the volatile circumstances of the digital age. Sooner or later, your business may also be faced with a disruption.
The worldwide digital transformation market is estimated to grow by 20% annually to USD 2 trillion by 2022, from the current size of USD 1.2 trillion, driven by the prospect of significant benefits in customer experience, time-to-market, product quality and operational reliability. However, the failure rates of digital transformation initiatives lie in the range of 60% to 85%. It is perfectly understandable that business leaders are quite uncertain when it comes to digital transformation in general, and about Change Management in particular.
The top challenges we often hear from business leaders about digital transformations are
- CULTURE : There is a lack of openness to digitalization, sometimes even pushback from traditional entities. It takes time for both leadership and employees to adopt the necessary information-sharing mentality and cope with continuously changing conditions.
- DIGITAL TALENT : It is difficult to attract the right talent to execute the transformation or fill in new roles. New and existing employees need to grow together and work toward the same goals across the entire organization.
- SPEED : There is a need to progress quickly in an environment that lacks complete clarity. Encouraging people to speed up and make their own decisions can subject them to stress.
- EVOLVING TARGET STATE : Unlike traditional transformations, the target state continuously evolves due to changes in technologies, processes and roles. The flexibility required for this approach with its “fail fast, fail often” mentality contradicts the common 100% quality approach of many traditional organizations.
- CROSS-FUNCTIONALITY : The impact of digitalization across interconnected business processes is not fully understood. Breaking down silos and linking formerly independent functions often leads to turmoil.
Does this sound familiar to you? A lot of business leaders we spoke with see the need for launching a digital transformation soon in order to prevent being outperformed by their competitors. However, they do not know how to prepare their organizations and employees for what is to come. Therefore, it is not surprising that 46% of interviewed C-level leaders report that Change Management is among their top three concerns when initiating digital transformation projects. They acknowledge that the only way to remain competitive is to create a wholehearted acceptance of digitalization within an organization. Because ultimately, people build up your business, not machines.
INTEGRATED CHANGE MANAGEMENT
“Starting a digital transformation journey without a dedicated focus on Change Management is like leaving the safe harbor with no knowledge of how to sail through turbulent waters. Only when a mast cracks and the waves get rough do you notice that you forgot to manage the complex interplays.
To reach your desired destination with a sailboat, you need the basic equipment as visualized on the left. Facts such as technology and processes as well as social interactions influenced for example by culture and teams serve as the sails. Transformation management acts as the boat’s hull to provide the platform and a reliable structure for sailing the transformation in the right direction.
However, to master the challenges of a tough environment with troubled waters, skilled skippers adhere to three imperatives: Align both sails to benefit from the joint forces that quickly drive a boat forward, use a robust, yet flexible boat hull to hold course, and adapt the tools available on board to react to changing conditions.
Keeping the essence of these analogies and our experience with digitalization projects in mind, we created our Integrated Change Management approach to help you navigate your digital transformation journey:
KEY IMPERATIVES FOR CHANGE MANAGEMENT
From our experience in digitalization topics, we have identified the three following key imperatives for Change Management in successful digital transformations:
- INSTITUTE AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO CHANGE MANAGEMENT by incorporating tangible facts with the intangible social interactions throughout the digital trans- formation journey – from conception to implementation.
- LIVE AN AGILE CHANGE MANAGEMENT APPROACH given the context of technology and people challenges that lead to evolving target states. Humans often behave and react in unpredictable ways. Hence, Change Management must anticipate and adapt to changing situations to remain effective. Agile means being flexible at all times to address current needs without compromising the vision.
- ADAPT CLASSIC CHANGE MANAGEMENT LEVERS TO THE CONTEXT OF DIGITALIZATION. The set of levers for Change Management – comprised of leadership, teams, culture, change story, communication, training, role transitioning and learning organization – remain the same but should be tuned to the requirements of digitalization.
See you in next blog with the following topics :
- Institute an integrated approach to change management
- Live an agile change management approach
- Adapt classic change managment levers to the context of digitalization
Kadıköy, İstanbul – TURKEY
Author : M. Temel AYGÜN, Ph. D. in Aerospace Eng.https://www.linkedin.com/in/mehmet-temel-aygun-1066a514/
Copyright belongs to Author