Change is happening and is bound to impact every one of us one way or the other. Welcome to the our brave new digital world.
Change is no longer a choice. Some enterprises have the luxury to take a structured, methodical approach for the Management of Change. This is effective and applicable in those scenarios where the change in question has been planned for the enterprise as a whole with the right resources and communication mechanisms in place.
However, Change does not always come with notice. Change can happen through continuous injection of incremental, minute triggers that have a cumulative effect suddenly manifesting itself and taking us completely unawares :: Hello Uber! So, what can enterprises do to deal with such changes? What are the imperatives for partnering with change? Here are some that I shared with the audience at the 2017 Gartner ITXPO Symposium in Orlando.
In his keynote at this symposium, Gartner Executive VP and Analyst Peter Sondergaard had highlighted certain companies who scored high on the Gartner Digital IQ index – Great examples of enterprises that have treated change as a catalyst to play the game on digital terms. Change is not just about what you do but where you do it – the channels you choose to play in, who you work with as well as the time and frequency of these interactions. More importantly, change can be a catalyst rather than an adversary. Disruption is a trigger for systemic innovation – especially if said disruption is initiated within the enterprise. Join me as I elaborate on these imperatives that have stood the test of time and hold the promise for dealing with any Change in the future.
Customer Matters. The simple Rule #1 about the customer being right that went into place since the first lemonade stand and is as true today as it ever has been. The customer is the perfect barometer to drive relevant change. In the chaotic world of myriad paradigms, platforms, technologies and tools, the imperative of doing whatever it takes to keep the customer happy can never go wrong. Note that the customers themselves may be driving change by shifting their expectations. Imperative 1: Just do what the customer wants.
History Matters. Change can go through a cyclic pattern over a period of time just like the economy or fashion trends. In my session, I suggest that Amazon can actually look decades back into the history of how Sears dealt with change. The steady transition from a mail-order catalog company to a brick and mortar store is akin to what Amazon is going through through the acquisition of Whole Foods to augment their online presence. History is replete with patterns of socio-economic behavior that give more character to future trends. Imperative 2: Look back into the future of history.
Collaboration Matters. A closer study of world leaders who accomplished a lot with very little to start with reveals the art of collaboration as a key mantra that empowered these maestros to achieve the impossible. Mother Teresa. Mahatma Gandhi. Malala Yousafzai Nelson Mandela. Martin Luther King. They used collaboration to instrument long-lasting change by partnering with the underlying sentiments across the masses. Collaboration is the name of the game in the digital world too. The OpenEarth Community is an open community of scientists, engineers and software developers in oil and gas companies, all working together to speed up and lower the cost of digital innovation for the entire industry. Cross-functional teams across Red Hat came together for a singular mission to accelerate various IT initiatives. Click to see the experience of the innovator. Imperative 3: Collaboration is a key driver for systemic innovation.
Leadership Matters. Leaders must sustain an environment that fuels continuous change by removing perceived “roadblocks” and opening up non-traditional channels of creative interactions. Leaders must drive careers of achievements and not accomplishments. Leaders like Jeff Harmening, CEO of General Mills, who actually suggests that even large, global companies like General Mills can drive systemic change. Imperative 4: You don’t have to be a startup to embrace change.
Culture Matters. When Jim Whitehurst joined Red Hat as the CEO, he went through a transition from a very structured environment to the open organization that symbolizes the Red Hat culture. The Open Organization book, authored by Jim, is for leaders who want to create business environments that can respond quickly in today’s fast-paced world. It’s for those who want to encourage the best ideas, hear honest advice, and attract (and retain) the brightest talent. Whitehurst embraced this culture to drive change as he elaborates in this executive round table. Imperative 5: Partnership with change starts with the individual.
There you have it.
Partnering with change is about a culture of continuous collaboration with the support of forward-thinking leadership while looking back and learning from the history to always ensure a happy customer!
But, change is also about proactively experimenting and trying new ideas including emerging paradigms and next-generation technologies. Taking such initiatives in the context of the business of the enterprise is vital for competitive differentiation. The Red Hat Open Innovation Labs brings together the trifecta of business, culture and technology to drive sustained innovation that continuously partners with change. Click here for more information on the Red Hat Open Innovation Labs.
What say you?
Are there other imperatives that you would suggest to partner with change?
Great minds may think alike but Changing minds can think different. Hello Partner!
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