Cultural Change Management

The Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Digital transformation is no longer seen and understood exclusively as an IT project but has become a people project

The digital transformation has not only impacts on the organisation’s structures and commercial value proposition but affects all levels and individual members of the entire organization.

Consequently, managing people and changing the organisation’s culture has become a major make or break point. Today, digital leaders must manage this cultural change carefully to unlock and exploit the potential of digital to the fullest.

The “C-Factor”

The digital transformation affects not only the operational business processes but also the organizational structure, and most and foremost, people. Consequently, managing people and changing the organisation’s culture has become the make or break point and requires C-level support.

Digitalisation is not just another IT project. If you do think it is just another IT project, you are going to fail. (…) I have participated in every single meeting to demonstrate my commitment and drive the progress forward. The project could have failed at different stages because some have thought it is more an IT project, some thought it is more about the hardware, others thought it is just another reporting tool.

Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO, thyssenkrupp Elevator AG

Subjective prejudices and objective concerns

Provoking reaction, fighting resistance

The introduction and implementation of new systems, processes and technologies has and always will evoke different forms of direct and indirect resistance. Change often is associated with a subjective fear of failure and an objective fear of a re-organisation of the workforce, for instance.

While most IT-leaders see the technical implementation – despite its very own challenges – as “somewhat manageable”, it is the social implementation that proves to be more time consuming. Fighting the emotional resistance – and winning not only the battle but the war – is an ongoing challenge pertinent to any IT implementation and requires a customized approach to get the individual buy-in.

Turning disruption into participation

Transformation always equals disruption – not only a disruption of existing systems but, even more importantly, a disruption of the daily operations putting production schedules at risk. However, making the user a part of the transformation by changing processes not for but together with them to increase their productivity and performance will create the necessary acceptance and support.