When it comes to change, the board live in a different world from the majority of employees. That’s not to suggest that one group is more or less valuable than another; people just see the world differently.
When faced with organisational change, senior management are typically focused on the big picture – they will want to know how it will improve the business and impact market share, competitive advantage and profitability. Middle management will consider how the change impacts their budgets and headcount. Whereas the majority of employees will want to know how the change will affect their schedules, their work processes, and the availability of tools and other resources. Once you know your audience, you can package your message and develop learning initiatives using language and concepts that are relevant to each user group, telling stories which allow them to relate to what is happening.
One of the key components of a successful technology implementation is the development of an Impact Matrix which is created in conjunction with the business. The matrix helps us understand in detail how the technology will affect different audiences, and what we need to do to mitigate the risk associated with the change.
It establishes, along with our experience and understanding of the technology, what skills and knowledge each user group will need to embrace the change, and how we should communicate the programme to each group based on what they care about. This targeted and specific approach not only creates awareness of technology change, but a desire to embrace it.
For one particular customer, we identified that their Microsoft Office 365 implementation would significantly impact PAs and secretaries. They had significant concerns about how Microsoft Office 365 would change their ways of working which had delayed the rollout twice previously. On the third deployment attempt, the customer engaged us to assist with getting them on board. Experience tells us that one of the reasons people block change is when they are afraid of loss and this was certainly the case for the PAs. Through our Discovery, we established that the PAs were afraid of losing control of their senior executive diaries, and the fall out if things went wrong during the data migration process. Through a targeted campaign, we helped the PAs understand the capabilities of Microsoft Outlook, and provided them with the skills and knowledge required to transition easily, allowing the programme to proceed.
So to conclude, to realise the benefits from the investment in technology – know your audience.
Look out for our next insight, where we explore the importance of stakeholder sponsorship in ‘Follow the Leader’.