Why change management is still very much a contact sport

Posted by David Miller


A couple of recent conversations with clients made me reflect on the changes that are taking place in terms of the way change gets “done”- and in particular the interplay between the use of digital to support the delivery of change and the practicality of teams and people working closely together to make this happen.

So let’s look at those two points in a little more detail.

Digital is revolutionizing the way all business is done
It’s probably moot point as to whether digital technology is having an impact on how change is delivered in organizations. Whether you come from the angle of the unprecedented impact that change is having on your end “customer” – the organization which is grappling with a wide range of issues that span organization-wide clamour for digital transformation, radical shifts in business and delivery models or new and emerging competitive threats from businesses that didn’t exist 5 years ago – or you consider the unprecedented volume of demand this creates for teams, digital is having an impact somewhere along the line.

As a result mastering the art of changing rapidly - and effectively - is a critical factor in gaining competitive advantage and digital is at the forefront of the revolution that is taking place in businesses and change functions across all industry sectors.

One big caveat however…
As someone once said, effective change management is a contact sport. As we noted above, digital is important but its only one key part of a wider mix that is still about people.

Great change management will always be about teams working together to achieve a common goal. It’s all about engagement, collaboration, understanding the human dynamics of change and helping people to adapt as they move from one way of working to a new one.

However, many organizations are still struggling to implement change effectively. For example:

They often lack confidence - only 20% of respondents to an IBM survey on Making Change Work (3) consider that their organizations are successful at managing change
They lack the skills - a PWC survey (4) reported that 48 per cent of respondents say their companies don’t have the necessary capabilities to ensure the changes sustained

All of this points to the organization’s need to make change management work easier, more collaborative and more effective. It's about improving change implementation while simultaneously managing complex programs of work.

Digital’s role in productive and effective delivery
So in some ways nothing has changed from a change management perspective – or you can look it the other way and say everything has with advent of digital change platforms.
Why? Because they bring you a raft of benefits that simply weren’t possible in the previous delivery model such as:

1. Costs are lower versus other solutions
Highly competitive SaaS based pricing means organizations can drive up their capabilities at a fraction of the cost of more traditional offline and workshop programmes

2. Programs can be supported rapidly
Organizations can get started working quickly, virtually and collaboratively on major change programs. Organizations can rapidly scale the organization’s agility to deliver change at the volume, speed and accuracy required

3. Change planning is consistent
Users can be supported to use the step-by-step planner functionality and guide users quickly and easily through a standardised approach to building change plans. This means they can be created easily and consistently even by inexperienced change agents.

4. Change skills can be built quickly and effectively
Contextual learning videos provide support on key aspects of the change process. They highlight key areas of focus and share proven tips on specific topics. Learning becomes more accessible and convenient without the disruption of costly workshops.

5. Powerful analytics delivers critical data
Good digital platforms and tools provide just-in-time information – offering the right information at the right time to people who need it and can act on it in an agile way. This allows organizations to measure, track and mitigate program risks.

6. Collaboration is easier and more effective
These new digital platforms feature collaboration channels – creating direct connections and building engagement among people across the organization. Single click sharing means that geographically dispersed change teams can share, collaborate on and deliver programs more effectively and quickly.

7. Productivity is increased
The intuitive nature of platforms, the ability to keep data and plans in one place, the ease of sharing plans and learning from past implementations means that both teams and organizations are far more productive.

Learn more with our new ebook
If you would like to learn more about how we approach the challenge – download our new ebook Leveraging the Power of Digital in Your Change Management Approach which contains a guide to selecting the right platform for your organization.

Or visit our website for more information on our new Roadmap Pro platform.

Find out more about Roadmap Pro

Tags: digital transformation

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