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Opus Populus, Part Two

How to Prepare People to Lead Your Organization's Digital Revolution

In my last blog post, I made the case that people, not just technology, will drive digital revolution. I posed two critical questions you should be asking yourself as you embark upon digital transformation at your organization: What will digital revolution mean for employee adoption of technology? And, how can you ensure behavior and corporate culture keep pace with technological change?

In its broadest context, digital revolution is putting technology adoption smack in the center, and is forcing you to rethink deep-rooted ideas about how people work and learn. End-users increasingly depend on new applications and technologies to complete their tasks quicker, streamline their processes, and, ultimately, make decisions that impact their organizations. More frequent software updates deliver unexpected changes to applications they rely upon.

In the past, a company’s strength came from what its employees knew. In today’s digital business landscape, however, success is more dependent upon how capable its employees are of switching focus, quickly learning new technologies, getting up to full speed, and identifying new opportunities for organizational growth.

To move your organization forward—to cultivate end-user capability, build strength and foster growth—you will need to direct your focus toward end-users. You will need to reshape company culture and adopt a human-centric approach. This means improving communication throughout your organization—including shifts in business direction and changes in technology capabilities.

It also means prioritizing employee adoption of technology and acknowledging that people learn differently. While one person may learn best in a classroom setting, another might get more out of short, task-specific videos or tutorials. Your responsibility is to implement approaches that account for those differences.

To ensure success in the digital future, your organization needs to develop end-user proficiency in addition to adoption, and work towards the goal of company-wide mastery of technology. Plus, the enterprise needs to rethink its assumptions regarding training and development of employees. There must be a broader strategy for developing proficiency and an almost chameleon-like ability to adapt to change. This can be achieved with immersive learning and development programs that address a range of preferences, collegial and collaborative learning platforms, and robust self-help and live support services.

The digital revolution that’s underway is inspiring and unsettling. It holds unprecedented potential, as well as much unease. But you have advantages over your predecessors: During earlier societal disruptions, such as the Industrial Revolution, business predictions were based mostly on hunches. You are entering this one with vast knowledge and a roadmap to success. Which road will you take?

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