By nature, enterprise systems may resist change. However, adapting to new technologies, business practices, and strategies is the key to success. But how does the company minimize friction within the workforce culture to foster fruitful technology adoption?
The secret lies in the executive team’s ability to utilize change management principles. The aim is to provide clear guidelines and education (if necessary) so that individuals and teams don’t feel overwhelmed. The following article outlines some of the change management basics involved.
Change Management Begins at the Top
With new technologies on the horizon, all eyes will be on the executive team. The workforce will require support, direction, and strength from the top management. Therefore, the executive team needs to provide guidelines for desirable behavior and motivate individuals and teams to adopt the changes.
But before the executive team starts implementing those changes, it needs to assess its change management capabilities. To be precise, it’s important for the leaders to have the skills to steer the team every step of the way.
This involves organizational processes and structure, professional competencies, enterprise processes, as well as individual projects. The leadership should have a clear understanding of each desirable action and its outcome.
This way, communication is much easier and the workers know exactly where to address their questions and/or doubts regarding the change. As a result, the changes will occur faster and there won’t be any trial and error.
Challenges of Workforce Culture
Ultimately, changes speed up as they move down the ranks within the company. To make things clear, it’s best to use the example of implementing a new customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Once the CRM software is fully implemented, its scope and goals may reach all the departments within a company. And as the changes cascade down, there will surely be some resistance to the novel approach. This is why it’s crucial to perform cultural diagnostics. The first step is to gauge the readiness to adopt the change. From an HR/cultural perspective, this means the managerial team needs to predict potential conflicts and problems. As a result, it should be easier to pinpoint the beliefs, core values, perceptions, and behaviors that can drive the change.
More importantly, a close analysis of the cultural landscape is crucial for defining basic change elements. These may include new infrastructure and programs (software) as well as a novel corporate vision.
The Importance of Mission Statement
When adopting the changes, the management team needs to be explicit about the behaviors that would best support the new goals. It’s best if the team creates an actionable plan, both at a company and team level. In addition, there should be a reward-and-reprimand model for all the involved parties.
To properly define a mission statement that drives the change, a company needs to have a solid grasp on its cultural center. This is like an amalgam of influence, personal/professional identification, thought, and activity within the company.
For example, a company that sells premium brands may want to start the journey from the marketing department. In most cases, this is the enterprise’s historic core that has the power to relay the message to all other departments.
Bringing in the marketing staff early on in the process builds trust, responsibility, and creates a pool of enthusiasts that can implement the change. This kind of management shift may involve greater bottom-line accountability and help focus on making the enterprise more profitable.
As for the actual steps, the marketing team may need to change campaigns, revise their budget, analyze previous quarters, and more. All of which ripples down to the design and production teams, sales staff, and the company’s stakeholders.
Are You Ready for Change?
The bottom line is that adopting new technologies begins and ends within the given company culture. And yes, the final outcome implies certain changes within the company’s culture. But management strategies, software tools, and some good old encouragement and reinforcement are there to ease the transition.