Why Change Management and Digital Transformation Need Speed

Change management and digital transformation are driven by innovation … and success is determined by speed.

Today, companies that don’t keep up won’t survive, regardless of the industry.

From manufacturing to healthcare, digital transformation is impacting organizations both large and small.

Those that innovate the fastest will gain market share and dominate.

Those that don’t, won’t.

Below, we’ll look at why change management is becoming more important than ever in today’s digital economy.

Why Digital Transformation Is Taking Center Stage

As manufacturing solutions provider Jabil put it:

“There is no other choice. A digital transformation means future relevance. Companies that want to sustain their competitive edge well into the future (or those that simply want to still exist two years from now) need to act now.”

In one report, they demonstrated how important digital transformation has become:

  • Between 2016 and 2018, there was a 62% increase in board-level support for digital transformation efforts
  • 77% of respondents expected digital transformation efforts to accelerate in the next 3-5 years
  • However, only 8% of organizations considered them to be fully digitized companies

This number should not be a surprise – digital technology is relatively recent.

Also, Jabil’s target audience consisted of manufacturing companies. In other sectors, these numbers may be different.

Regardless of the industry, however, these trends point to the significance of digital disruption and digital transformation.

Another key factor that determines ROI of change efforts is speed.

Innovation Plus Speed Means ROI

A BCG report examined innovative companies and found that speed is crucial to transformation efforts.

They quoted the CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, a consumer products company, who said, “Size can give you scale, but for innovation, speed is more crucial.”

Given that this report was from 2015, we should take these numbers as being even more important today.

A few points that highlight the importance of speed and innovation:

  • Overly long development times were the biggest obstacle to returns on innovation and product development
  • Faster companies were also more likely to be strong innovators – 42% compared to 10%
  • They were also more disruptive – 27% compared to 1.5%

The BCG report also stressed how important speed is in the age of innovation.

A few benefits include:

  • Faster innovation
  • Lower development costs
  • Larger market share
  • Greater forecasting accuracy

These benefits can help innovative companies lead the pack, stand out from the competition, and dominate their market.

However, as change management professionals know, change isn’t easy.

How do you build systems to change at speed?

How to Speed Up Digital Transformation and Change Management

Digital transformation, innovation, and speed can generate massive benefits for today’s organizations.

However, you need the right systems in place in order to manage these changes.

This is where change management comes in.

Change management is one of the essential factors for building systems that can evolve quickly.

Here are a few ways to speed up digital transformation, innovate quickly, and manage change effectively:

Implement digital business models, such as lean and agile. Today’s business models leverage customer input, digital technology, and innovation to move fast. Lean thinking and agile change management are two approaches that are designed to help you innovate, learn, and experiment – at speed.

Adopt and exploit digital technology to its fullest extent. The new software you installed won’t do much good if it’s not used. Or if it’s out of date. Embrace digital adoption and use the latest change management software – because it will give you a competitive advantage.

Make innovation a core principle of your business. Innovation shouldn’t just be a word. It also shouldn’t just be a part-time task. Today’s innovation leaders dedicate teams, people, and budgets to innovation. Creating a team of innovators is sure to boost your company’s innovative capabilities.

Analyze, evaluate, and adjust. The right metrics will give you insight into what works and what doesn’t. These should focus on big-picture, strategic goals – not just “progress.”

Obtain buy-in for innovation, digital transformation, and change management. Without support, none of these efforts will succeed. Ensure that executives and leaders know the value of innovation, change management, and speed.

Change your change management as needed. Change management itself is changing. As mentioned, adopt new business models that allow you to respond to changes quickly. Learn from analytics and employee input. And keep adjusting your own system as required.

These are just a few ways to design your systems for change, speed, and innovation. Many more can be found on our change management blog.

Conclusion: Digital Transformation Needs Change Management to Succeed

We’ve seen how innovation and digital transformation drive change.

And we’ve seen how speed is essential in today’s fast-paced market.

Finally, we’ve looked at the crucial role of change management – which can reduce project timelines, increase success rates, and enhance results.

To innovate quickly and successfully, make sure that change management has a proper place within your organization.

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.