Adapting to the ever-changing digital rat race

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It has become clear that the technology revolution is driving massive change in the workplace. This has, in turn, lead to a rapid pivot in business operations as industries are disrupted and automation becomes a reality across the board.

In this, there has been a call for better communication and collaboration between development and information technology. “We live in an age where businesses cannot afford to fall behind with the constant evolution of automation across the board,” says Bizmod consultant, Colette Staniland. The biggest question is, how do we ensure that our resources keep up with the rapid change in IT development?

In many situations organisations have adopted agile, or aspects of agile, in their IT practices. However, their approach to the people change management function is retained in the traditional method of managing people change. The change management method has been built to closely align to a waterfall project management method and is therefore too slow and too heavy for agility in the workplace, Staniland explains.

With that said, it is integral for management to also evolve at a rapid pace to prohibit being overwhelmed by automation. The solution? Staniland provides six steps to create an organisation that is ready for the future:

1. Change landscapes are critical tools to use to identify and map out all the different types of changes being imposed on the workforce. This will inform us how much change is being introduced and help us manage this more deliberately.

2. We need to unlearn some elements of what we have learned about people change management and relearn how to land incremental and constant change. It is no longer a big bang, but constant drip-feeds of small, seemingly insignificant changes that, once accumulated, can unsettle an organisation .

3. Recognise that a change manager is no longer an option per project and that the traditional approach to change management is not relevant. Change management has become everyone's responsibility. From the people being affected by the change, to the team implementing the change and to the leaders demanding the change; it is a team effort.

4. The methodology in change management needs to be relooked and to be agile.

5. Each change initiative needs to be studied and understood in order to indicate what is going to stop, start or continue from a people, tool and/or process level.

6. Change resilience needs to be embedded into the DNA of our people. It is a life skill that needs to be nurtured and developed over time so that people become resolute in an ever-changing world. This is not done on a project level but at a strategic, organisational wide programme one.

“Change is a constant, but the speed and magnitude in which change occurs has taken a form of its own. We need to change the way we view change to remain future relevant,” says Staniland.

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