By Linh Dang
The world of disruption, where you either disrupt or be disrupted (at least, that what many leaders seem to believe), it is tempting to bring about transformations quickly and forcefully. However, failures in change efforts by many organizations suggest that transformation is less like a sprint and more like a relay marathon: without good preparation, collaboration, and proper strategy, it is likely to fail.
Summarizing the diverse set of examples from the CIO, I’d like to present the following pitfalls of change:
- Many CIOs are resisting the “Big Bang” approach to digital transformation. This is a top-down, “aspirational”, but in many ways short-sighted and unnecessary style of enacting change. Examples can include a novel solution whose intended result can be achieved by upgrading existing technologies and system.
- Successful change require several components to be in place: such as planning, strategic alignment, governance, and change communications. This relates to the concept of systems thinking; without change in the underlying subsystems within the company, aiming for large-scale results over a short time will be difficult, if not damaging.
- The decision maker’s failure to consider the effect of See-Feel-Change can also lead to the failure of the transformation effort. Common examples include the neglect of data sharing on the change effort, the use of mandate instead of buy-in, and confusing sets of initiatives.
This subject caught my attention as this is intimately connected to innovation. This is a great quote from one of the executives interviewed by the CIO: “The whole concept of innovation is really an exercise in change.” IT is integral to one’s business, and sometimes it is the business, so getting change management the right will allow companies to innovate and create a competitive advantage through IT, not a liability.
Lessons learned from business transformations that fail to start
IT shifts away from ‘Big Bang’ digital transformations