Ask anyone who’s been involved in technology-driven business transformations during the past decade: failure to address the “human factor” impedes the full realization of business value. When people aren’t able or willing to adopt new ways of working, productivity decreases, frustration builds, and the ROI you had anticipated is consumed by costly post-implementation efforts to get people on board.
In theory, no one denies the need for stakeholder engagement, communication, business readiness, and training. Yet, when it comes down to practice, companies still struggle to make change happen. Why? Because they don’t know how to do it and they don’t want to pay for people who do. The irony is you pay for it no matter what: it’s just a matter of whether you pay on the front-end, as part of your plan, or on the back-end, as a clean-up effort.
After many years and thousands of hours working closely with clients across all industries to manage change the right way, I’ve learned that project sponsors are more likely to make the upfront investment if change practitioners offer an approach that is methodologically sound, innovative, and, above all, practical.
A strategic approach to change, with a reliable set of procedures, tools, and principles can help people navigate what is often a highly complex and unpredictable process. A seasoned team that knows how to apply tools and methods wisely — what to keep in, leave out, and modify — based on the needs of each unique client and project makes all the difference.
Having seen the same tricks a dozen times, more clients are looking for innovation in how their consulting partners manage change. However, the inspiration to try something new shouldn’t be pursued merely for its own sake, because sometimes a traditional method is more appropriate for your situation and budget. An experienced team can help guide clients on creative strategies and techniques that are right for them and grounded in a pragmatic understanding of business needs and desired results.
For example, people might say they like classroom training, because it’s all they know. What if analytics applied to personal learning data suggests game-based learning deployed on mobile devices could be a more attractive strategy for your target audience? If the logic behind the strategy makes sense, give it a try! That said, you must also resist the temptation to choose tactics that are interesting but ineffective for your user group or outside the scope of your budget.
Finally, don’t dismiss a traditional method just because it’s not the latest thing; the tried and true should be welcomed if it works. Innovation can be as simple as applying an old school approach, such as classroom training or email communication, in a new and insightful way.
By approaching the people and organizational challenges of high-stakes change (think Cloud, IoT, RPA, and AI) with a structured, pragmatic approach that combines innovation with practical insight, your investment in making change happen will return to you with anticipated business value, fully realized.
To view our animated video on the Success vs. Failure of Change Management click here
Members of our Enterprise Change leadership team discuss Change Anxiety in the following video.
Partner, Enterprise Change Practice, Infosys Consulting
Holly brings the scientist’s curiosity and observational skills to the world around her. She uses her interactions with some of the world’s leading corporations – and their workforces – to form fresh and intriguing insights on education and skills. After 25 years’ consulting experience, she remains a hands-on practitioner who helps clients deal with people and organizational implications of agile enterprise and changing business models. She is developing and delivering learning programs, both for Infosys Consulting and its clients that grapple with the challenges and opportunities provided by technology in the learning space. Holly is now bringing this perspective to the World Economic Forum, as steering committee member of their Global Future Council System Initiative on Education, Gender and Work. Holly can be contacted via LinkedIn or Holly_Benson@infosys.com