As we noted in a previous post, digital transformation was one of business leaders’ top concerns in 2018. Considering the vital role people play in digital transformations, it’s safe to assume it was also among the top issues for employees last year.
For 2019, digital transformation will continue to be the top concern, but implementing digital to improve performance will not be the only goal. This year, organizations will also endeavor to repeat and sustain their digital transformation efforts.
In a recent blog, we outlined ways in which organizations can repeat and sustain their digital transformation successes. In this post, we look at three areas business users should focus on in the coming year:
PRACTICE AGILITY. Nearly everyone dislikes change, and resistance to change is a natural human response. The most common reasons are loss of control, fear of incompetence, uncertainty about the nature of the change, anxiety about the idea of more work, and others.
Frequent change, however, is now the standard, and agility is fast becoming a core job requirement. But what does it mean to “be agile”? How can a person become less resistant to change? Here are a few ways you can make change easier for yourself in 2019:1
■ Ask for a clear definition of the change—Why is it happening? What will happen if the change is not made? What created the need for this change?
■ Find out what kind of training and support your organization is providing to help ease the transition. Use those resources often.
■ Learn how the change will affect your day-to-day work (including what’s expected of you). How can you prepare? Which new skills will you need?
BECOME A CONTINUOUS, LIFELONG LEARNER. The smartest way to keep up with rapid-pace updates and other tech changes is to weave training and coaching into your regular routine. If you get stuck, resist the temptation of workarounds and the “old way of doing things.” Ask for help.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Keep a list of things you are struggling with—specific features, entire applications or even broad concepts—and set aside time to work on them with a colleague or software coach.
PUT YOUR SKILLS TO WORK. Assess and improve your work processes regularly. Are you still collaborating via email and attachments? How do you work with colleagues on projects—do you use apps like Teams or SharePoint, or do you rely on spreadsheets and conference calls?
Keep an eye out for innovation opportunities and new ways to use digital tools to expand the business. For example, you can use machine learning in Dynamics 365 to alert you when a deal is going cold, to classify sales leads, or to automatically calculate the probability that a sales opportunity will close.
It may seem unlikely that the actions of an individual can significantly impact company-wide change initiatives, but in today’s digital business environment, every effort counts—whether gigantic or tiny. By focusing on these key areas, you can ensure a successful digital future for your company and for yourself.
1. Hiatt, Jeffrey M. 2013. Employee’s Survival Guide to Change, third edition: The complete guide to surviving and thriving during organizational change. Prosci Learning Center Publications. https://www.prosci.com/
Jen is an award-winning journalist who writes about workplace productivity and technology for Vitalyst. She believes in the power of using plain language, especially when writing about technology, and lists “achieving and enabling clarity” among her life goals.