We are living through the fourth Industrial Revolution so all digital change is good digital change. Right! Well no not really, but then neither is the solution to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the winds of change. Make no mistake, digital technology is changing the way in which we work and interact on virtually every level.
Even the government is getting in on the technological act with sweeping ambitions to transform the whole range of services. For example, a recent article by Justice Minister, Dominic Raab, highlighted the way in which technological solutions were transforming court work in areas such as the provision of video links, the inception of digital case systems, and online resolution for certain types of case such as low value money claims.
In fact over the past few years we’ve already seen the impact of the government’s foray into digital solutions in areas such as the online availability of tax discs and TV licences as well as the move towards online reporting of tax returns and company information. Not that these have been universally successful, particularly for those whose broadband speeds are less than ideal and who are therefore virtually disenfranchised from taking part in the government’s brave new digital world.
And that brings us on to an important factor which organisations should bear in mind when crafting a digital solution. Your solution has to be right not only for the business but also for the end-user. There is absolutely no point in instigating a digital solution which helps to improve warehouse turnaround speeds if the ordering system is so complex that your customer gives up and looks elsewhere. Equally you would have to question the logic of bringing in a new system which helps the HR team but at the cost of adding layers of complexity and added time pressure for everyone else in the organisation.
In other words, your digital solution has to be a true solution which works equally well for all. But that’s only the start. Bringing in a new solution means bringing in change and if you’re going to do that successfully you have to be able to anticipate and overcome objections. Far too many attempts at digital improvements come to nothing simply because organisations haven’t taken the time to introduce them in the right way.
Don’t forget, you may have seen the product demonstrated, you may have sat on the commissioning team, and you may therefore have a good working knowledge of the way in which the product is supposed integrate with the business. The rest of your people are in the dark and simply announcing a new digital procedure is only going to lead to resentment at best, apathy at worst. So you have to take them on the journey which you have already been on and help them to understand not only the drivers of change but also to become fully conversant in the use of the product.
Help your people to engage in change and they will become strong advocates for the digital solution which you have crafted for your organisation. Impose change, and a disengaged workforce could be the least of your worries.