Industries have to change to keep pace with technological advances. In the late 1700s human and livestock power began to be replaced with mechanical production, water and steam power. In the late 1800 another shift occurred moving towards electric powered assembly lines and similar forms of mass production. By the late 1960s automation continued to advance with computers and electronics. Now, in 2020, the latest industrial revolution is focused on cyber and physical networks using smart technologies to create truly autonomous systems.
Change is difficult for anyone because humans are hard-wired to stay within their comfort zones once they develop a sense of confidence in their abilities within that arena. Yet, regardless of the effort it may take to change with the times, leaders cannot afford to delay in adapting to industry advances otherwise their company will become irrelevant in the eyes of their consumers.
Leaders today must develop a new type of company culture where “change management” becomes a significant core value. This new decade brings new requirements for business leaders in how to manage the flexibility of change while reducing any fatigue caused by the learning curve as processes and expectations shift frequently. That is why it’s essential for leadership to maintain continuous improvement opportunities within their industry and business culture before the tipping point requires it.
Harvard Business Review discusses how Digital Transformation Comes Down to Talent in 4 Key Areas: technology, data, process, and organizational change capability. All four areas are essential, and sometimes it requires finding someone on your team gifted in blending business and technology skills who also excels in business intelligence and analytics to lead the change. These people are nicknamed “Purple People” based on this metaphor: If IT people speak a blue language and business people speak a red language, transformation will only happen through the efforts of people who speak purple (a blend of red and blue) so they can translate what needs to be done to bring the red and blue people together.
Knowing how to implement change is only part of the process. You also need to understand why changes fail. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your team will automatically support your “good idea” or the downplay the consequences of unknown obstacles that will appear as you transition through your change process. You must gain their buy-in first and set realistic expectations for every stage of it.
The digital revolution will continue to evolve no matter what, especially in the wake of the Covid 19 crisis which showcased the importance of up-to-the-minute online information and data. Moving your company to an online platform in order to provide your employees and customers with access to whatever information they need has become a critical aspect of doing business. If your company is lagging behind the times and needs help – especially in the area of your financial operations – we would love to help.
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Kris Cavanaugh Castro is the People Development Coach at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Kris has over 25 years of coaching, training and mentoring leaders to greater success; and she periodically writes about leadership development and facilitates change management conversations.
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