Digital transformation is big business. Total digital transformations of companies require substantial capital investments. As a result, budget constraints is the largest barrier. Additionally, insufficient digital expertise and lack of management support further hinder the adoption process. Digital transformation can only occur when there is a culture of continuous improvement. No matter where your company is in the change, you need to implement and sustain a process that supports this shift in culture.
Why is a culture of Continuous Improvement Important?
Gone are the HR days for unfreeze, change and refreeze. We exist in a hyper-competitive world where disruptive technologies threaten everybody. Disrupters from five years ago see themselves at risk of disruption. One example is a company Slock. It who use blockchain to automate locks. Their value proposition could definitely help disrupt incumbents in the shared economy.
To compete in a hyper-competitive world, companies need to adapt and respond to frequent change. Currently, organizations success in implementing change programs is weak at best. 70% of change initiatives fail. As a result, the companies that can adapt to the frequent market changes will succeed in the long term. Additionally, it is these companies are already heading towards total digital transformation.
How does a culture of continuous improvement apply to digital transformation?
A full digital transformation is a long process that entails heavy investment. Digitalization does not involve one solution. It requires many interconnecting solutions, which communicate together to create a seamless experience. In other words, many different solutions that each need an implementation strategy.
Companies, where a high percentage of initiatives fail, will waste millions in resources. Furthermore, employees develop resistance and reduce participation to unsuccessful programs. As a result, every time an initiative fails, the likelihood of success of the next also decreases.
How Can I implement a Culture of Continuous Improvement?
Many companies start implementing customer-facing digital solutions first. These omni-channel experiences are expensive and also result in internal process changes. Therefore, companies must consider digital solutions that foster a culture of continuous change. Here are four considerations that are vital for your solution.
Early Involvement of Employees
Getting employees involved early is crucial. Employees that participate in change programs show less resistance. Collaboration is key. First, make sure you are actively encouraging your employees to have a voice. Second, you need to be listening to it. Finally, it is important to provide feedback and identify necessary coaching and mentoring.
Support from Key Stakeholders
My CCO has said this before, but I have seen it be a barrier to the success of many change programs. Without the backing of upper management, initiatives fail. And I mean support with actions, not only words. Nothing says unimportant, as much as busy, non-involved upper management with no time.
Create a Shared Purpose
Nothing rallies the troops like shared purpose. A company united behind one goal creates a sense of community enables collaboration. A key point to note here is that digitalization is not the end goal. But the way to achieve this purpose. Consider exponential organization’s Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) to develop a shared purpose.
Motivation comes in many forms. Employees need to know why and how these changes affect them. Include clear communication the reason for the change, steps involved and how it will affect individuals. Additionally, communicate successes and small wins regularly. It will show progress towards the overall purpose.
Personalize the Experience
Change management programs can cause information overload. A digital solution provides the opportunity for you to filter the information to personalize it for each employee. Furthermore, dashboards visualize information, helping employees digest it.
BONUS: Experiment, Learn than rollout
Before rolling out new digital solutions to the whole organization, run trials first. Firstly, it limits investment of resources in mismatched solutions. Secondly, it provides learning opportunities to adapt the system and processes. Additionally, measure the implementation on multiple dimensions.
Align Purpose and Collaboration with Digitalization
To sum up, begin a digital transformation by fostering a culture of continuous change. It will require commitment from leaders and a process change. First, make sure you have a shared purpose for the transformation. It is the reason why your organization exists and the why behind going digital. Align it now. It will help you the rest of the way. Communicate is clear and consistent.
Second, find a digital solution that enables collaboration early in the change process. Furthermore, it has to have the ability to create small objectives or steps. Personalize the experience by including relevant people for collaborating on individual goals. It will allow you to tailor the message and information needed at each step. Additionally, participating only in relevant objectives will increase employee motivation. Finally, remember to action objectives and communicate successes. Every successful goal completed will move your organization along its digitization journey.