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Successful change management involves winning the hearts and minds of people.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led many institutions to fast track the implementation of digital technology across its business functions. Now, it has become a necessity for the survival of any business. But what does it take to transform into a digital organisation?
Digital transformation is all about changes – from strategy, technology, to processes and the structure of the organisation. But at its heart, digital transformation is ultimately a test of an organisation’s culture. Therefore it’s not surprising that a Mckinsey survey identified culture as the most significant barrier to digital transformation.
Some organisations are typically risk-averse. They often take the slow and careful route in a rapidly changing environment. They lack innovation to meet clients’ needs and mostly resort to replicating what others are doing. One of the greatest reasons why digital transformations fail is legacy thinking. The notion “this is how we have always done things” is a big source of resistance among staff. It can be intimidating for people who are insecure about their jobs and do not fully understand what digital transformation entails.
Successful change management involves winning the hearts and minds of people. It requires careful planning and practice. Most importantly, it requires keeping people at the centre of the design, so that staff as well as clients are not disoriented by the dynamic changes.
BRAC Microfinance has been going through digital transformation for the last few years, focusing heavily on digitising delivery channels and incorporating technology in core field operations. Here are five ways we are developing a digital culture across the seven countries in Asia and Africa that we operate in.
Ultimately, the most effective change management plans are those that involve pragmatic actions focusing on changing elements of human behaviour to get everyone on board. It is not a digital transformation without a strong digital culture!
Mercy Wachira is a digital transformation manager, microfinance programme at BRAC International Holdings B.V.