Digital Transformation: Correct doesn’t always connect

Over the last few months, whilst running Digital Transformation Storytelling Programmes, I asked several rank and file staff (impacted by the change), “Why do you think your organisation is changing?”

After hearing several responses, I can confidently say that rank and file staff’s worldview is, all change initiatives are driven by profitability and there is no care or concern for people on the ground who are impacted by the change.

Now, the truth is, people on the ground tell themselves this story because we trigger this story in their heads by framing our change messages in a certain way.

Here are two key digital transformation change messages that I have worked on with the leadership teams

  • We have to change our CRM system because we are losing market share.
  • We have to change our factory into smart factory because we have to increase our productivity.

If I am a rank and file employee and I hear these as reasons to change, I am now telling myself a story, “This change is hard for me but it has nothing to offer me.”

How about we dig deeper and ask ourselves what has changed in our world that is causing us to change and how, if we do not change, our rank and file staff will suffer too.

Here is what the new narrative could be

  • We are changing our CRM system because the current CRM was built 20 years ago and it can no longer serve the needs of today’s customer. We are constantly finding our rank and file staff in difficult customer conversations because the current CRM is slow and takes several minutes to provide our staff with the information they need to serve the customers better. I have witnessed many of our staff going through those embarrassing situations and the new CRM will change that for the staff.
  • We are changing our factory into Smart factory because the rise in technology has increased the demand for our product rapidly. What we have to produce today is four times more than what we had to produce two years ago, but in these two years, our staff strength has remained the same. So, the only way we have achieved this growth in manufacturing is by making our staff work a lot more. I have witnessed many of our staff work overtime and over the weekends. How about we give this heavy work to automation and help our team become valuable human analysts and strategists, which is vital in the role of validating a machine’s processes.

Feel the difference?

Change Storytelling if not relevant, falls on deaf ears. I agree, we tell the correct message but it doesn’t connect

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