Thursday, February 15, 2018

Digital Change Pendulum, How Fast can it Swing?

 Closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in such a dynamic environment of a company. 

Digital means the increasing pace of changes. A changeable organization is to creating organizations where change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share. There is a distinction between different types of organizational change - incremental or transformative; the scope, scale, and impact of the changes. In order to build a high-responsive and high-informative organization, digital leaders need to make an objective assessment by asking:  Digital change pendulum, how fast can it swing? And how to take a proactive approach to manage the journey of digitalization?

Transformative changes: Transformation is, "the company reinvented itself." It is a change to the fundamental business model itself, it is a radical change. The top of the pile is strategy-driven transformation. One reason that change initiatives fail so often is that companies attempt a level of change well beyond their predominant mindset and approach. Sometimes the transformation is necessary in order to cope with change. To manage a large scale transformative change, communication, exemplification, and amplification of best practices are all crucial steps in building a changing-enabling culture. Alignment with organizational design, business architecture, and performance management ultimately accelerates the change pendulum and leads to where you need to be for really making a difference. Make sure all of the management is on board and educated well on the objectives and how to carry them out effectively. Because the organizational change becomes the common practice within an organization, it needs to be treated as a strategic ongoing capability to reach its full advantage. A high-mature digital organization can be observed to have a predominant change culture that is inherent in their approaches, tools, and resourcing. Because the transformative change needs to deprogram old mindsets, let go of “the voices from the past,” reprogram people's minds with new thinking, norms, and attitudes; and establish a new blueprint for how you want to create the digital future collaboratively.

The problem-driven improvement: Running organization is fundamentally the problem-driven improvement and continuum. Change management is a gradual process to keep the change pendulum swinging at a steady speed. Some of the improvement initiatives can be tremendously complex but still have relatively fewer moving parts, compared to transformative change. To achieve desired changes, an organization must create an environment that encourages change attitude, enables effective collaborations, shares & promotes ideas, and makes the continuous goal-driven improvement. The goal of change and improvement should look beyond immediate problem resolution. The focus should include actions designed to sustain performance improvement and anchor change as a new opportunity and an ongoing capability. Overcoming change inertia is challenging, but change is happening at a more rapid pace, understand that proactive change must occur for a particular goal or objective to be achieved. If you make change part of your routine, and then change becomes easier to deal with, and turn to be an iterative business continuum.

Fixing things: Besides large transformation changes, there are many little “c” change, such as,  implementing a new software tool, or tuning an important business process, etc. Little “c” change requires tools, training, and practice in order for the participants to feel comfortable that the service level they provide will continue or improve with the same or reduced effort. At the bottom of the change pyramid is simply fixing things. Many change laggards struggle with fixing things reactively or simply fix the symptom without digging into the root cause. The lack of recognition of change impacts individuals and businesses’ willingness to extend themselves again for the next change. For the organizations getting stuck at the lower level of change maturity, sometimes, change itself becomes the very goal as a Change Initiative is completed, often teams walk away without checking to see if it adds value or evaluating if additional work is required. In such cases, there is no surprise that change pendulum is simply slow down or get stuck somewhere, unfortunately.

Transformation is structural. Change is functional. Both are manageable. Closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in such a dynamic environment of a company. The speed of change is increasing, and the digital ecosystem has become more complex and compelling. To put simply, change itself changes. So, for a company to move from one level to another change maturity requires step-function changes in tools, culture, leadership, and process, and make the change as an ongoing digital capability.


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