Monday, May 8, 2017

Three Characteristics of Digital Change Management

Businesses will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability.
Thanks to the powerful digital technologies and exponential growth of information, the speed of change is increasing for opening the next chapter of digital evolution. Even change itself changes, and the digital ecosystem has become more complex and dynamic. Change Management also turns to be more complex, that’s perhaps part of reasons why the failure rate of Change Management is so stubbornly high - around two-thirds of Change Management efforts fail to achieve the expected value. Change Management is no longer just a one-time project, but an ongoing capability; it is hard to pick only one key factor, but varying key success factors in managing it right. So, more specifically, what are characteristics of digital change management, and how to build the solid changeability and improve the organizational adaptability, responsiveness, and maturity?

At the enterprise level, successful changes are often linked to the DNA of the organization itself: Real change and (existential) creativity is deprogramming old mindsets, letting go of "the voices from the past," reprogramming the collective minds with new perspectives, norms, and attitudes; it is like to recode the DNA of the business, challenging, but establishing a new blueprint for how top management wants to create the digital future reality. Innovation is change, though not every change can be categorized into innovation. Regardless of vertical sectors, making changes should be a fun and innovative journey, not just a stressful one-time project. This is particularly important in those creative industries or organizations that have extensive innovative product development regimes. It would follow that developing creativity and building changeability would be more welcome in these areas. To manage change successfully, it is also important to embed creativity as the change mechanism. The manifested creativity is so important to change management; it can serve as a tool for cognitive dissonance to support adoption. When developing a change strategy, think of a creative mechanism that has this outcome to embed the change. To succeed, businesses also need a unified “one sight” focus, a dynamic balance between the inner and outer elements, they need to understand the relation and dynamics between consciousness (thinking), energy (emotions) and information deeply.

Change Management needs to be treated as a strategic management capability: Due to the high frequency of changes and digital disruptions, organizational change management has a strong role in business transformation, benefits realization, and strategy execution. Because organizational change becomes a common practice within an organization, it needs to be treated as a strategic management capability to reach its full advantage. However, not all organizations operate at this level, many still manage changes randomly without taking the structured approach to well-align people, process, and technology. Where the organizational change management function resides can be also managed and addressed as its maturity progresses in the organization. With time and increased understanding of Change Management, there is an acknowledgment that the best fit for effective Change Management is at the strategic level. Though it will take some time due to the maturity of the organization, it is important for integrating Change Management into strategic level business processes and practices and ultimately build change as a strategic management capability.

It is the digital shift from process-driven to people-centric change management: Digital is the age of people. People are often the very cause to change, and the purpose of change as well.  It's important that you make your employees feel like they are a big part of the changes that need to be made. The human element of change entails a people-centric approach to change management style. It isn’t what you do, but the way that you do it, that matters. Being more in sync with people. Each person has their own change curve, thus, the process you go through should be empathetic and as such will be subtly different for each one. If you try to force them to a one size fits all, formulaic approach, it will cause change friction. Change Management is about mentoring the human side of the business through profound, unsettling change. Because change cannot be completely manipulated from top-down, it starts from the mindset and encourages positive behaviors.

Digital transformation is a leapfrogging business change. Businesses will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability. Digital organizations have to tailor their own circumstances, make it an “innate” business capability for accelerating their digital transformation journey.


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