HRHeadStart #24: Digital Transformation & Change Management
The Talent Agenda
One of the most obvious consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic is the infusion of data-enabled services in multiple aspects of our lives. Digital transformation was, and will continue to be, one of the biggest imperatives for businesses. However, digital transformation is as much about people as it is about deploying new technologies. You can pretty much buy any technology, but your ability to adapt to the digital world is heavily dependent on developing the next generation of skills and closing the talent demand/supply gap.
For a primer on charting the path to digitally transform the business and making it data-drive, check out this piece.
In short, the critical part of digital transformation is not “digital” but “transformation.” Our world has changed dramatically in the past two decades, and adapting your organization to these changes cannot be achieved overnight, or simply by buying new technologies, or collecting more data. What is needed is a shift in mindset, culture, and talent, including upskilling and reskilling your workforce so that they are future-ready. That said, there is one thing that hasn’t changed — namely the fact that all of this is just the new version of an old task or challenge every leader has always faced throughout human history: to prepare their teams and organizations for the future, and create a better future.
If indeed digital transformation success is anchored on people and culture, then HR’s role in that journey is critical. As we work with the business to drive changes to the culture, people processes, behaviors and ways of working, we are bound to encounter resistance.
There are two key reasons for change resistance:
There is either information overload or the information shared is too complex to understand - creating high cognitive load and exhaustion.
There is a tendency to avoid uncertainty. Leaders fall in the trap of perennially asking for more information to make decisions, stall those decisions and privately hope that the situation will resolve itself.
So, the question for us HR professionals are: How might we share information which makes it effortless for our audience to absorb? How might we help preempt loss/uncertainty avoidance by sharing a clear picture of the destination, pathway and what the journey will look like?
A Productive Workout
A workout is a great way to create mindspace for processing and learning new ideas. And it primes you for creative thinking. For your next walk, run or workout session, watch or hear a short summary of the book Switch, which explores why change management is hard and what can we do about it using a simple example of a rider directing an elephant on a path. Watch the video by clicking on the screen grab below.
“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday's logic.” ~ Peter Drucker