Change Management and Ethical Corporate Reorganization

Il Change Management e la riorganizzazione aziendale etica

The implementation of digital projects requires an organizational change. The employees of standard activities may be assigned to the management of new automatic systems or required to carry out completely different activities. In both cases, adequate training is required to prepare for system changes.

Change management is that theory aimed at managing change, whose goal is to guide the transformation through a program that contemplates every single detail, solves its problems and optimizes the benefits. Ultimately, you want to create a “policy of change” that allows the management of any subsequent mutation in complete autonomy. To this end, the involvement and training of the entire company is necessary, in such a way that “change” becomes a modus operandi.

The key to change management

Change Management

Change management, therefore, facilitates and plans the transformation of internal company processes in whole or in part, to get from an existing situation “A” to a desired situation “B”. This path of change, as already mentioned, will be generated by the implementation of intelligent automation solutions.

Obviously, any “policy of change” aimed at guaranteeing an improvement, in terms of greater effectiveness and efficiency, cannot ignore the dynamics relating to collective and individual behavior. On the contrary, it will have to make these central, adapting to the change management model of excellence.

Changes are oftentimes the result of intuitions, managers or entrepreneurs, which are subsequently confirmed by strategic studies, causing redesigns to structures and processes, the generation of new flows of value and organizational transformation.

Today, in the era of industry 4.0, in addition to the intuitions of those who govern the company, change is generated by adapting to the upheavals imposed by technology and by the speed with which this change occurs. Therefore, it becomes a priority to increase awareness, taking care of the impact on cognitive and psychological processes, both for the individual and group. This will produce involvement, passion and active participation in the workforce. In addition, it will prove to be the real engine of change, the push that will allow the passage, consciously, from a known starting point to a not-so-well-known arrival point.

In general, change is viewed with distrust and, sometimes, with suspicion. It is difficult to prepare without resistance, for fear that it will bring more work or, worse, job cuts. It is therefore necessary, in order to speed up the process and make it practical, to sensitize every individual, regardless of the role played in the company, so that he or she is convinced of the need for change and has knowledge of the new technologies that will be implemented. The synthesis of the above equates to the notion: “change is to innovation as change management is to intelligent automation“.

In this regard, the AGILE methodology can become a tool that facilitates sharing and allows companies to overcome resistance to change, favoring the understanding of the real advantages of the evolutionary path of transformation. This is a path that must reach culmination, consolidating the theories of change management in a cyclical fashion in the continuous search for new opportunities for innovation, in order to keep pace with the times and generate stimuli and benefits.

Impacts of change management

Change management focuses on changes to activities for individuals, while also including the entire transformation of the corporate collective. It studies this complex phenomena and implements important transformation processes that impact the psychology of individuals.

Let us distinguish three macro areas: 

Psychology: fundamental for analyzing and managing the behavior of individuals and groups; 

Company organization: aimed at studying and then managing the phenomena of change. It is also crucial for understanding the dynamics of the sector under analysis and how changes are received by those who will have to use them, so as to improve efficiency; 

Systems theory: meaning a complex reality in which the elements interact and condition each other. It examines, through the mathematical concept of function, the relationships that are created between the various elements, or entails the analysis of the interdependence of the variables. Then, through the study of the complex system made up of an individual, company group and external shareholdings, the critical issues to be managed to direct the change will be identified and a detailed plan will be drawn up to program them in sequence and meticulously control them.

People always at the center of change

The real engine of change, as is evident, is people and, particularly, those who, from within the company organization, have the power to command or guide other individuals. Of course, one can have influence on the “group” due to the role occupied or because of strong charisma. In both cases, those who succeed in influencing others play an important role in the success of the change.

 

In 2008, a study conducted by IBM concerning making change work proved to be very interesting in terms of innovation and change management. This study showed that, out of a significant sample of companies, one-third to half of the changes implemented failed.

IBM then listed the recurring causes of failure in a change process:

  1. resistance to change; 
  2. lack of business culture; 
  3. inadequate assessment of complexity; 
  4. lack of resources and involvement, especially of the highest roles; 
  5. poor skills for change management;
  6. inadequate information and lack of motivation of the workers involved.

In addition, it clearly emerged from this study that, in order to improve the success rates of change management activities, company skills and resources must be combined with the sharing of the policies and objectives of the change to be made. It is therefore a priority to identify those with greater charisma, because their involvement will facilitate the achievement of the set goals.

This study is extremely relevant in the era of digital transformation. In fact, those who practice change, analyzing the psychological impacts, the digital activities that can generate it and the scientific methods of implementation, are gaining increasing importance in the company. Among these, the Innovation Manager is critical as an explorer, evangelist and enabler. This person should possess strong leadership skills and a totally innovative vision of the methodology to be followed which, as such, remedies those causes of failure mentioned in the above study.

The primary objective of an Innovation Manager is to help rebuild a path of conscious acquisition of the models of change generated, in particular, by the digital revolution. More simply, each of us, especially in the digital world, through technology, can interpret reality and interact with it in a positive way, facilitating the evolutionary path towards a conscious and shared implementation of change.

Another key element is the development of so-called soft skills and, in particular, of skills such as flexibility to change. This facilitates the implementation of intelligent automation solutions, ensuring understanding and exploitation from within the solution itself. Indeed, more and more, the departments responsible for human resource management are attentive to the development of such soft skills.

Furthermore, as pointed out by the IBM study, the inadequate involvement of the organization in a company that implements innovative solutions can lead to the failure of the project undertaken or prevent its management or maintenance and not allow future possible updates.

The ethical corporate reorganization deserves particular attention, since by generating automation and hence greater efficiency, it goes without saying that this determines the potential reduction in the number of people involved in a given activity. Thus, there is a need for those who implement digital solutions to work alongside change management experts, who are able to train surplus personnel on new activities with greater added value.

Therefore, managing change with the dual purpose of guaranteeing greater corporate efficiency and relocating staff, previously assigned to activities now automated, to different tasks, is the right way to face the era of digital transformation ethically.

Ultimately, only collaboration, learning about technology and the propensity for change on the part of all the actors involved, guarantee the success of intelligent automation initiatives. This ought to favor a univocal interpretation of reality: technology does not replace people, but once understood, it allows human resources to be destined for more rewarding activities. This concept can be appreciated thanks to adequate change management policies.

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