Change: “to alter, make different, change” (transitive); early 13c. as “to substitute one for another;” mid-13c. as “to make (something) other than what it was, cause to turn or pass from one state to another.
We live in an ever-evolving world and it continues to evolve, transform and create each second! From the beginning of time, mankind has been created with an innate ability and a natural instinct to be innovative, to progress and to make changes.
This period in time has been called the “fourth industrial revolution” and indeed technology is present in practically every corner of the globe and it is technology that is defining our future evolution.
However, with this “twenty first century IT evolution” there comes the need to implement change and, change can be difficult to both accept and initiate without a support network and result centred objectives.
Negara Brunei Darussalam has long spearheaded advancement; in fact, less than a century ago the nation was still very much underdeveloped as modernization had not yet reached its shores. The country was dependent on trade, agriculture and fishing industries; indeed, technology had not yet entered the sultanate.
However in the late 1950s, Brunei Darussalam embarked on a journey of development, ranging from the introduction of an effective education system, telecommunications, transportation, health care and building infrastructure. In effect, the country embarked on a large scale “change management” plan that was to transform the entire nation. This change was fast paced! Over the past seventy years Brunei Darussalam has redefined itself and is now part of the economic global market!
Brunei Darussalam embraced change and, as such a vision for the future was established and the wheels were set in motion beginning in 2004. Wawasan 2035 is a long term development plan which aims at developing Brunei Darussalam into a nation which will be widely recognized for the accomplishment of its educated and highly skilled people measured by the highest international standards; quality of life that is among the Top 10 nations in the world and a dynamic and sustainable economy with income per capita within the Top 10 countries in the world.
Naturally this Vision is dependent on the application of “change management” and a clear and defined master plan which is understood by both society and accepted as an important part of an ever-changing cultural landscape.
So what exactly is “change management”?
When we analyze the definition of “change management” we are basically looking at ways to make life both simple and efficient, to move with the times and to provide an infrastructure which enable us to connect and communicate, to work and ascertain fast solutions.
In short, we are reviewing and restructuring how things “have been done” and creating a platform which allows us to look at the possibilities and advantages of how we can upgrade and simplify how things “can be done”.
The key to understanding “change management” is ensuring that the process of change requires knowledge, clarity and adaptive mindsets that are open to newer solutions and exciting opportunities. It needs role models and influencers that can inspire society and organizations towards a transformational journey.
If we are to refer to John Kotters “8 step change management programme” we are able to understand that fundamentally change management within any organization requires creating a “climate of change” and getting a shared understanding of the assignments to be implemented.
It also emphasizes the importance of engaging employers, employees, team players and stakeholders to understand the necessity of implementing changes. It is essential that change management is a coordinated team effort and will therefore allow for a cascade of positive transformation to infiltrate the organizations which will in turn produce a sequence of positive transitions which encompass a clear direction, momentum and a sense of confidence on this transformational journey.
In short, change management is still dependent on mankind’s input and decisions and we still have to revert “back to the drawing board and brainstorming” in order to implement results and garner the support of the team.
All change in its very essence is symbolic of both transformation and renewal.
Naturally with any kind of change there will be resistance, a refusal to accept that the time has come to adapt and that old work ethics and red tape modus operandi that are set in place need to be reviewed in order for more efficient way of working.In 1920’s Hollywood, movies would be viewed on the silver screen without sound. There is a legendary quote from a prominent director D. W. Griffith writing in “Collier’s” magazine in 1924 who said the following:
“We do not want now and we never shall want the human voice with our films”.
That is just a small example of the extent to which mankind will go towards hindering progress and it clearly demonstrates how the idea of upgrading or transforming to new methodologies of working often appear threatening and perceived as “unknown territory” which do not need to be explored.
However, we need only observe just how much the world has radically transformed within the past century, from the introduction of air travel, radios and television, wireless computers and voice activated software. All these are direct results of accepting and adapting “transformational changes” and they have greatly benefitted society. It is hence the term “changing with the times” has always been a universally applied philosophy.
Therefore the objectives that define “Change Management” should be ones that must harness and empower a co-operative mindset whereby everyone understands that change is for the greater good and it is imperative that every advancement in society allows for adjustments, proactivity and a conducive environment that supports and nurtures transformation.
We now live in an era whereby our smart phones have literally become an extension of our bodies, and we are surrounded by the endless possibilities that digital transformation has to offer.
Life is now made easier by tapping on your smart phone to do online banking transactions or booking a flight ticket. This new way of doing things is invisible yet tangible, and like anything new, it needs to be implemented in such a way that people will both understand and accept.
The underlying drive behind any change is dependent on acceptance. It is dependent on understanding what is essential and what is needed to give our society the advantages of utilizing IT; we need to go beyond data, technology and digital transformation and rely upon our human insight and a shared ideology.
As part of creating a “Smart Nation” as envisaged as part of Brunei Darussalam’s Wawasan 2035, Brunei Darussalam is moving rapidly towards fully adopting technology for the betterment of its community. A majority of its population be it from the remotest of villages to the capital city use technology as very much a part of their everyday lives, whether it is using their mobile phones or utilizing social media to promote their businesses ranging from cottage industries to corporate businesses, this is a very positive example of the effect of digital transformation. And most likely an example that is overlooked as digital transformation.
It is digital transformation that enables you to download apps, to interact with customers, to develop your businesses and to tune in to the world twenty-four hours a day.
If we view it from the most simplistic perspective, all we need to do is observe preschoolers of today who are already adept at using mobile phones, laptops and social media and various applications. In twenty years’ time technology will be an integral part of these children’s daily lives both at home and in their careers and they are already experts at utilizing technology. We would need to continue to offer them the platform, tools, skills and opportunities to have access to their future.
Brunei Darussalam has come a long way in a very short time frame, hence there is a strong impetus to keep up and embrace this age of digitilization.
Change can happen overnight. Change is unstoppable and yet necessary. Ultimately change is pivotal to ensure that progress is attained and that we are on par with the rest of the digitized world. Otherwise, in this planet of 7.3 billion people, we get left behind.
What we need to understand is that whilst technology is key to the fourth industrial revolution, it still needs to be understood in order for it to be successfully integrated into a community. And while we need to consider how technology will benefit the next generations we must, from an objective standpoint, not overlook the role of this generation who are not only the change makers and the navigators of tomorrow but also the change managers.
Would you like to learn how to help your organisation adapt to change effectively? We can help ease your journey towards new and improved way of working! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +673 238 2238.