Today’s job market is complex, competitive and global. We have become accustomed to talking about uncertainties as “opportunities,” and the inherent organizational changes needed as “challenges,” rallying to be “positive and proactive” in the face of change in the workplace.
The truth is that no matter what words we choose to describe this new evolving context, navigating change is part of the day-to-day management of our organizations. While most companies understand that to be competitive and grow, they need to adapt, research shows that 75% of organizational change management initiatives fail. Why? Many organizational change management models focus on adapting operational processes and forget that the key to managing change in the workplace is people and their attitude toward organizational change processes. Fortunately, there are new types of platforms that can effectively motivate employees while changing corporate culture from change-averse to innovation-focused.
From change management to a culture of change
Frequently, change management projects do not reach their objectives due to poor strategic planning. But, there are many instances in which people are not prepared for transformation: employees do not understand the need for, urgency, or advantages of change. In other cases, they do not want to step outside their comfort zone. What is the strategy to end resistance from employees and empower “pro-change” mindset?
Organizations need to understand that digital transformation is first and foremost a cultural transformation.
How can organizational change management models help business leaders and employees build an “open and positive mindset,” a “way of being” within companies that allows them to successfully incorporate new platforms, processes, and innovations into their business model?
Large companies that have managed to successfully motivate employees in the face of change first implemented organizational culture strategies to develop organizational values such as innovation, flexibility, adaptation, and creativity. For example, 40% of companies using StarMeUp OS included the value of “innovation” as an essential part of their culture. This value communicates a clear message: innovation is critical to the growth of our company. Next, they used the platform to publicly recognize those employees who exhibited this value in their daily activities, reinforcing the importance of this value for the organization.
Valuing the concept of innovation is a positive first step in implementing a change management strategy. But to create a truly innovative culture powerful enough to motivate behavior changes, and not just transform how employees view change it is necessary to understand the impact of transformation on employees day in day out. Do your employees share the vision for change? Do they value innovation? How do they experience the changes that the organization is undergoing? Fortunately, technology can identify (and improve) how employees experience the values of an organization and incorporate them into their daily tasks.
How technology impacts change management
Innovative culture cannot only be constructed as a story or leadership’s vision; it isn’t even enough to define innovation as a corporate value. Culture is reflected in the projects and daily results of employees.
Today there are platforms to effectively measure how employees are linked to innovation, generating critical data for digital transformation projects. What can these systems do for organizations implementing change management initiatives?
To grow, it is essential that companies develop a flexible, collaborative culture that is open to learning, so their employees can adapt with agility to new contexts, technologies, and business models. Given the challenges in building a more innovative organization, new platforms offer compelling solutions to enhance the value of innovation and compel people to want to change.
By placing your employees in the driver’s seat of transformation, you can fast track the development of your company and dramatically improve the results of change management initiatives.
Why is change management essential today?
Currently, companies face urgent challenges like:
New competitive scenarios
New consumer demands
The emergence of new technologies
In this demanding context, organizations should not only be able to change, but they should also learn to live in a permanent process of adaptation. Companies should prioritize their ability to change and adapt at all times.
Change management for digital transformation
In recent years, the emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots or cloud computing has led most companies to fully immerse themselves in the world of digital transformation. According to AppDirect, 79% of companies are going through a process of digital transformation, a reality that has pushed organizational change management to the top of leadership’s strategic agendas for 2020 in most companies.
However, the vast majority of company directors question their companies’ ability to adapt to change. According to Globant’s 2018 Digital Transformation Report:
53% of companies do not feel prepared to effectively use AI, blockchain or facial-recognition technologies.
Many organizations are not structurally prepared to adapt quickly to a new situation; it’s hard for them to be dynamic, or flexible enough to manage change in the workplace. Some companies—especially large companies with a long-standing history in the market—are characterized by a stable and rigid structure, with their processes focused on control and avoiding risk. We usually find this type of organization in the financial, insurance and health industries, complex sectors that are characterized by their low speed of technology adoption, while faced with a need to be competitive, efficient and profitable.
At the other extreme, new digitally native competitors are emerging. Their structures are small and flexible. They consider innovation, experimentation, and disruption to be part of their DNA. As a result, change management, in general, and technology adoption, in particular, are simpler and less expensive processes for this type of company to undertake. Even though change management is hard for both types of companies, there is a greater urgency for large, well-established companies to address how they can adapt more quickly because if not, they will “lose out” to the newer digitally native companies able to change and evolve more quickly.