There exists a dichotomy for big companies that desperately need innovation but they are inherently averse to the risk that this innovation requires. Businesses know that they have to move forward, as business guru Eddie Obeng puts it, we all need change because change is really cool. If organisations don’t undertake a transformation program, they will be swallowed by the digital vortex and might as well be moving backwards to obscurity. This change requires actions with uncertain outcomes. For risk averse large businesses, the drive for innovation and ‘be creative’ commands often translate to take risks and you will be fired/ we will fail. In this post, I look at ways to mitigate and minimise risk and collaborate transparently, cutting through uncertainty with communication. As prominent change management guru John Cotter found; over 70% of corporate transformation programs fail due to disengaged workforces. Businesses are already using tools like mhub to engage the majority of their workforce and glue their people, processes and applications together, ensuring successful transformation.
- Run diagnostic and crowd source
This is the plan stage, sometimes the hardest part is identifying the right kind of change that needs to happen to ‘transform’ into the future workplace. Once you have the 3-5 year plan you need a way to communicate it to the majority of your workforce, ensuring that you’re all moving together in the same direction. The success of a transformation rests on a businesses ability to do this. You need to involve people from the beginning in the decision making, make use of crowdsourcing for use cases and problems, not just solutions.
- Value, the risk of not innovating
Focus on the business value and not just transformation itself, from top down right through to an individual value. If under attack by the risk police, stick to value but emphasise that the risk from not innovating far outweighs the risk of uncertain innovation.
- Partnerships and risk mitigation
Bersin concluded in his report, ‘Redesigning the organisation for a rapidly changing world’, that a sound strategy this year, would be to buy innovative tools from smaller vendors as your firm up your core system into a single ERP suite. In this rapidly changing world larger companies will need to partner with smaller companies to take advantage of the relative competitive gains and vice-versa. Smaller companies are agile and can move quickly fostering innovation and creativity that larger companies are not only crying out for but crucially need in the digital age.
‘Unless you care about people from day 1 and are transparent, you won’t get any engagement.’ – Emmanuele Quintareli. With large, global organisations, technology is the best facilitator for this at scale. Mhub allows leadership teams to communicate with authentic videos, winning hearts and minds from the start. With their own branded app, every employee is always up to date and communication is transparent and two-way. Communication is crucial to minimise uncertainty from the top down and bottom up.
Technology is often mistaken for the full solution but should instead be seen as a crucial cornerstone of the transformation. The companies who flourish and succeed in the future workplace are those who identify the innovation that is proven to deliver value at scale. They then enter into partnerships with smaller, agile technology companies and mitigate the risk with solutions like mhub that are new and disruptive but proven. Businesses are already gaining value from this new technology that exists to glue the people, processes and applications together during this transformation and ensuring success beyond.