I was struck by an article in our last newsletter reporting a study that showed that fear of change was putting British companies at risk. The survey conducted by Microsoft, Goldsmiths, University of London and YouGov found that 49% fear the change that comes with digital transformation, 61% felt anxious about new technology, and 59% worried about the impact of automation on their job. Given that artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing and other modern ways of working are here to say, and not embracing them is likely to lead to both individuals and organizations falling by the wayside, this is not a survey to take lightly. It becomes even more worrying when you think of the uncertainty of Brexit. That is a lot of fear and uncertainty swirling around the organization.
How can you alleviate this?
It is important to give people a sense of security by providing them with the support and development that will enable them to understand the transformation, and keep pace with it. Or, better still, keep ahead of it. Understanding organizational culture is the starting point.
Here is an exercise to help unblock negative attitudes to change.
Run focus groups, or other conversations around these questions:
What words describe our culture?
What words describe our management style?
What happens in our organization when people get ideas?
What happens when people make mistakes?
What blocks implementation of new ideas?
What do people get excited about here?
What do people get upset about?
What do people get promoted for?
What do people get other forms of recognition for?
What do the people at the top pay attention to?
The questions should hopefully trigger some interesting debates that will lead to insights on what needs to change to make the culture more receptive to transformation.
Next week, I will look at what do with these insights.
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17 November 2017
©Copyright Janice Caplan 2017