The importance of leading change in a digital economy

Posted by David Miller


The world as we know is continually changing. Being on the front foot and proactively leading your organization in an ever changing business landscape is becoming one of the key challenges for the C-suite. Enterprise Change Management (ECM) is no longer a nice to have, it’s become a necessity.

In a recent McKinsey Round table, which notably included Bloomberg chairman Peter Grauer and Nadir Mohamed (the recently retired CEO of Rogers Communications), the issues around how to lead in a world that is becoming increasingly automated and digitized was the topic of conversation.

The challenge is keeping up with the speed of change

The discussion highlighted that automation in one form or another has been around for a while and is not in itself the significant change we are seeing. The challenge today is the speed of change organizations are facing; often brought around by digital disrupters, leaving the rest of us to scramble and catch up.

In addition, the discussion emphasized that the leadership challenge arises where there is an intersection of automation and changing business models, and especially as automation is increasingly about reconfiguration, transformation and disruption.

The leadership challenge

Whereas previously change in the organization was often a long time in preparation, today’s norm is change at an increasingly rapid pace. The key challenges for leaders identified by the roundtable included:

  • Getting the organization to change at a fast enough pace
  • Framing the change in a positive light
  • Leading change as a teamit is not purely the CEO’s job to lead change however the CEO's active support of the change is essential
  • Getting the organization to embrace the “looming” change, and maintain that commitment to change
  • Confronting corporate obesity – fighting the often inherent slowness and resistance to change in larger incumbent organisations.

Gaining and then maintaining commitment through change is a significant challenge for leaders. Research shows that most organizations end up with under a third of people actually committed to any change. People may be using new systems, processes and structures associated with change, but their ownership, and responsibility for continuous improvement, is not guaranteed.

Maintaining that commitment to embed changes and keep the organization moving forward, while potentially starting a new wave of change, is no small feat.

Leading change is no longer a “sometimes” activity for leaders. It is part of the inherent way of working and organizations that are not able to successfully implement fast changes may find themselves left behind.

Enterprise Change Management helps organizations adapt for continuous change

Being proactive and on the front foot means being able to spin up an internal change capability quickly to manage the various changes your business will face as they arise.

With the rapid pace of change, organizations do not often have the time or the luxury to develop the framework under which the change will be managed. Investors look for fast returns, often within a financial year.

ECM is a C-suite led approach to change where the whole organization is prepared with the skills, tools and infrastructure ready to deliver change at the pace, and with the success rates required. Having the framework already in place, such as:

  • Core staff trained
  • Training on-hand, ready to roll-out to extended team members
  • Change project management and control methodology
  • Risk management and critical success factors identified and baselined
  • Communication and collaboration platform
  • Expert help...

... all at hand ready to “go” gives organizations the edge in delivering quick and successful change, while maintaining the momentum and employee engagement to drive through business results.

Ramp up quickly with Changefirst’s Roadmap Pro platform

Accessible within 48 hours, Roadmap Pro provides you with a one-stop-shop, change management framework and methodology. Roadmap Pro can help you quickly enable your organization to implement change successfully, and build an ECM approach within your organization.

Click below to request a demo of Roadmap Pro and learn more about how we will help you develop a world class enterprise change management system.

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Tags: change management, change, Enterprise Change Management, Leadership, leading change, ecm, c-suite

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