by Patrick Gallen, Partner, People & Change Consulting at Grant Thornton Ireland
Technology plays a large part in the personal and professional lives of the majority of people. Not only is it an enabler to everyday business-as-usual tasks, but for most, they could not effectively do their job without it.
So, while implementation of a new system can be transformational for your organisation, without adequate buy-in from your people, it can be difficult to land a new system successfully.
From a strategic perspective, those driving the project may be very clear on what they are trying to achieve by introducing a new system to the business, but those people who do not have this level of involvement, it won’t be so clear. Below are four key ways you can use people-led change to achieve and sustain a successful system implementation.
Firstly, in order for a transformation to deliver sustainable change, it is vital that organisational culture empowers this, driven through the behaviours of leaders and people. It is essential to assess and address culture as part of the transformation and strive for one that is progressive and open to change.
Nurturing a culture that embraces change within your organisation does not only increase the chance of success of one implementation, but for all organisational change in the future.
Next, how you talk about change is paramount not only to ensure a positive message of change, but also to create lasting change within the organisation. Communicating with stakeholders during times of change is critical and is a key success measure in any transformation.
This will not only allow people to feel they are retaining control over the work they do, but it will ensure their ‘buy-in’ for the vision for the project and make them much more likely to support it.
Supporting Your Team
Thirdly, enabling change requires that an organisation fully support individuals who are impacted by the transformation. This can be done through assessing the knowledge, skills, and behaviours necessary to drive a successful implementation and developing a view of the ‘as-is’ situation. Then, you should design a strategy and training plan, which will address any skills gaps.
Once again, it is important to communicate effectively with people and manage their capacity for training to show that you appreciate the time they are devoting to it.
Finally, achieving sustainable change requires fully embedding it into the organisation through the people processes, systems, policies and structures, which align to the goals of the transformation. Through this, organisations can thread the value of the change into the Employee Value Proposition and ensure that its success becomes a priority for all employees.
It is important to allow people within your organisation to lead technological change and to empower the organisation to realise the full strategic potential of the project. Through driving people-led change, you can increase utilisation and fast track the successful implementation of your new system. You can also nurture the potential for future transformations and drive a culture that is excited about and embracing of change.
About the author
Patrick is the Partner leading Grant Thornton’s People and Change Consulting practice in Ireland. He has over 30 years of experience in People and Change, working right across Ireland, the UK and on a global basis. He specialises in delivering behavioural change through capability building, which can range from working on complex transformation projects right through to coaching senior Board members on a one-to-one basis. Patrick has deep cross-sectoral experience and his clients include large global banking and financial institutions, utility companies and well-known global brands in the food and drinks sector. His clients in the public and semi-state sector include Government Departments in the UK and Ireland, including Treasury and Finance Departments, Transport, Health and Utilities.