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Today’s Enterprises Face Unique Organizational Change Challenges When Undergoing Technical Innovation

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Business Advisory

It can be daunting to know where to focus to ensure successful outcomes that provide the most business value.

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When it comes to developing modern solutions for today’s enterprises — both national and global — communication, collaboration, and connectivity are three critical components to ensure the best business outcomes for every digital investment. Recognizing your company’s change curve is the first step toward better understanding how to mitigate roadblocks to a successful implementation.

Organizations across the globe must pay special attention to a fourth component: culture. Today, understanding important nuances based on location when incorporating one solution for a dynamic global enterprise is an essential component of developing a successful implementation strategy.

According to Prosci®, a change management entity studying best practices for more than 20 years, seven major factors impact change for business:

  • Active and visible executive sponsorship
  • Structured approach
  • Open and frequent communication
  • Dedicated change management resources
  • Collaboration with project management; and
  • Middle manager connection and support

Hitachi Solutions Advisory Services embraces the Prosci best practices model while addressing unique challenges to support our customer’s data and business system modernization initiatives. The A, B, C, D, and Es of our Advisory approach anchor around Business, Change, Digital Transformation, and Human Experience tactics for managing the innovation process. Our Advisory Services team works with our customers from end to end across their organization to accelerate their digital initiatives.

“We are outcome-focused leaders who guide our customers through impactful change and transformation to create sustainable business value,” said Greg Gant, VP of Advisory Services for Hitachi Solutions. “Ultimately, it’s about securing our customer’s forward progress leveraging today’s digital toolbox with best business practices, industry expertise, and user adoption.”

Following are some key drivers provided by our Change Advisory services team for enterprise customers to consider:

Local change champions make the difference between success and failure.

People remain at the center of business success, no matter how rapid technological advances are made or how large or small the enterprise is. Part of remaining resilient while embracing the pace of change is a constant communications loop. When change is ongoing, this can be a tricky journey. Identifying change champions from leadership to middle managers to end-users creates connectivity throughout the process and helps to mitigate change resistance.

“You can have a technical success and a business failure,” Hannah Farley, Senior Director, Change Advisory Services, explained. “We focus on communication and training reinforcement, resistance management, and sponsor alignment throughout the organization and all its locations to understand the level of coaching required to ensure the organization’s future state success.”

When mitigating resistance points to whatever digital solution you’re considering, culture is a core consideration. In today’s “operations anywhere” work environment, leadership must be very proactive in reaching out to end-users everywhere across the company, and if applicable, around the globe. You must understand the life culture of the folks at the core of the solution. Identifying team members who can serve as change champions in each location is key. Not only can middle managers communicate the benefits to their team directly with a better understanding of what training is necessary to support them, they also can help bridge cultural gaps for communicating and receiving the delivery of the digital innovation.

“Sponsorship is the number one reason change projects succeed or fail. You must have sponsors in place who not only understand any special nuance by location but also have the authority to prioritize work for the people who are impacted,” Farley explained.

Getting to the end of a transformation initiative before considering the implications for the people using the solution is an outdated mindset. No matter the size of your organization, mapping out a plan with inclusion and collaboration with the people using the solution is a critical component.

Today, employees want to be part of the solution from the top down. After all, people buy what they help create.

Approach change and digital innovation with collaboration and communication

When it comes to digital transformation for companies around the world, many are grappling with change exhaustion at the same time they continue to iterate on rapid innovation endeavors to meet the demands of today’s evolving workplace.

Change barriers are both unique and common for every company. Unique in that every organization has its own culture and may approach change differently; common in that people are at the center of every culture, everywhere. Taking a “people first” approach to adopting new ways of doing business is part of mapping out a successful strategy. As digital adoption timelines continue to shrink, advisory services take an ever more critical role in ensuring success.

“Understanding the company landscape is step one,” said Farley. “With insight into the culture and organizational attributes of the company from on-site and remote workers to employees who live local or global, we can then proactively address any real or perceived barriers to change, whether they are driven by lack of understanding, a need for additional training, or even resistance due to communication gaps. It’s key for organizations to learn how to effectively communicate with all employees.”

Creating a continuous communications loop connects employees from end to end. When leadership embraces and encourages an open communication framework, employees get faster responses, which leads to quicker results and buy-in when technological improvements are implemented.

“We partner with our customers and advise throughout implementation as part of the team. When our technical team encounters resistance, or when we realize we need to adapt the change approach during delivery to address specific cultural norms, we quickly make those adjustments for our customers,” Dave Horstein, Director, Advisory Services, added.

Change adoption must get knitted into the fabric of an organization covering everyone it touches, vs mandated from the top and delivered by outdated trickle-down techniques.

Have a digital transformation strategy on how you will deliver on training

Getting people ready to adopt, and adapt, to technology is a major facet of ensuring success, especially when an organization embraces people with a variety of skills, experiences, training, and cultural backgrounds. A successful transition from implementation to daily use may require various levels of training for different users.

Consideration of diverse cultural values and practices is critical to user adoption. Partnering with a global advisory service provider to explore and address unique ways of doing business based on location ensures the best business outcomes.

“Traditional top-down approaches to training employees in today’s environment is simply too risky,” Farley explained. For example, we worked with a large global manufacturer who encountered unanticipated resistance during implementation which stemmed from unique, cultural barriers to adoption not being recognized in their planning.”

Assessing your employees’ digital maturity should take place at the blueprinting stage, not the receiving stage

From culture to age range, digital competency in the workplace varies widely. As companies grow and embrace digital solutions, the skills gap can quickly widen if not addressed as an ongoing part of the transformation plan.

To eliminate cultural or skill-level barriers to change, leaders should provide comprehensive, role and location-based training to boost both understanding and confidence. Training needs will differ from person to person and from location to location, so it’s important to take these differences into consideration from the outset and address any barriers on every level.

The greatest resistance often comes from middle managers, says Prosci. In one study, 42 percent of participants indicated resistance to changing the way they do business. Disparities in understanding the potential outcomes of technology can be a major disrupter. Employers need to plan and budget for employee digital development throughout modernization.

Watch this 5:15 video with Hitachi Solutions’ Hannah Farley and Dave Horstein talking about how we help customers drive growth through people and technology with Advisory Services.

Hitachi Solutions’ Advisory Services are designed to help you achieve success

Hitachi Solutions developed Digital Compass™, our experience-led strategy designed to ease, accelerate, and ensure success. Digital Compass uniquely integrates advisory services, technology innovation, delivery excellence, and value-added security and support to help negotiate barriers to change. Recognizing change champions and bringing them on board at the blueprinting stage is key. Understanding the end users’ needs and how the change affects them is critical. For global organizations, taking all site-specific nuances into consideration must be part of the process.

Whether just beginning, or continuing, a digital transformation journey, most companies greatly benefit from strategic guidance to ensure successful outcomes and value across the enterprise. Don’t let your data and business system initiatives become digital disruptions. Develop a successful digital transformation strategy with Hitachi Solutions.