When beginning your digital transformation journey, it's vital to have a solid change management and communication plan in place. Don't underestimate the importance of this step! Without leading the conversation, rumors and misinformation can derail your efforts before you begin. So, what should your plan include?
Your plan should be divided into stages, as employees will be at different points in the journey. Create messaging that resonates with everyone, but include customized messages for executives, leaders, and teams. Each target group needs to understand why digital transformation is necessary (WIIFM) and what they can gain from it.
The first stage is the "enlighten" stage. During this stage, your main goal is to provide knowledge and understanding about why the organization is undergoing digital transformation. In this stage, you need to:
- Rally people around a sense of purpose on the why and the why now for Digital Transformation.
- Articulate the "how" of the new digital operating model.
- Convey the mindsets and behaviors central to the change.
- Develop success metrics to analyze how the messaging is received so you can measure, learn and iterate as needed.
- Build a group of committed change champions who can help communicate and inspire acceptance across the organization.
The second stage is the "engage" stage. In this stage, you are creating a pathway for learning and experimenting to build muscle around the new behaviors. In this stage, you need to:
- Educate on the "how', and possibilities of the new digital operating model, training a set number of teams to work on high-value problems to solve.
- Mentor Executives and Leadership on the skills and behaviors needed to support changes.
- Share stories from Leadership who are involved in these initiatives to motivate and inspire others to take action.
- Offer education and training for individual contributors and cross-functional teams who want to learn how to operate in this new way.
- Highlight individuals displaying the right behaviors for change.
- Achieve Quick Wins to build momentum with the new model.
- Monitor and provide feedback on performance for adopting new mindsets and behaviors.
- Success Metrics are in place to continuously measure, learn, and iterate as necessary.
The third stage is the "empower" stage. It is about normalizing the new way of working, focusing on delivering value and impact for the customers and businesses across the organization. In this stage, you need to:
- Continue to drive momentum by identifying new targets to go after, as sustainability requires more wins.
- Establish a Certified Champions program and Communities of Practice to create a network of knowledgeable individuals who can educate, guide, and mentor others on how to adopt the new way of working.
- Implement a regular 360 feedback loop to track which behaviors are sticking and which are reverting and to understand why.
- Highlight progress and celebrate successes and learnings, which extend beyond the initial high-value problems to solve.
- Recognize those who embrace the change to inspire more to follow the process.
- Demonstrate how the digital operating model supports the vision and organizational strategy in everyday, standard work.
- Implement success metrics to measure, learn from, and iterate as necessary.
Remember, a successful digital transformation journey requires a solid change management and communication plan. By breaking it down into stages and creating customized messaging, you can ensure that everyone in the organization understands the purpose and benefits of digital transformation. The right plan enables you to lead your organization to a new digital future versus, the wrong or no plan can cause challenges that can derail success.
Need guidance on developing a change management and communication plan, contact us. This plan is one of many elements we can help guide.
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