3 items tagged "Change"

  • Changing voluntarily and the role of data quality

    Changing voluntarily and the role of data quality

    In the modern world nothing stays the same for long. We live in a state of constant change with new technologies, new trends and new risks. Yet it’s a commonly held belief that people don’t like change. Which led me to wonder, why do we persist in calling change management initiatives 'change management' if people don’t like change.

    In my experience I have not found this maxim to be true. Actually, nobody minds change, we evolve and adapt naturally but what we do not like is being forced to change. As such, when we make a choice to change, it is often easy, fast and permanent.

    To put that into context, change is an external force imposed upon you. For example, if I tell you I want you to change your attitude, you are expected to adapt your patterns of behaviour to comply with my idea of your ‘new and improved attitude’. This is difficult to maintain and conflicts with your innate human need to exercise your own free-will. However, if I ask you to choose your attitude, this places you in control of your own patterns of behaviour. You can assess the situation and decide the appropriate attitude you will adopt. This makes it far more likely that you will maintain the changes and, as a result, will reap the rewards.

    Perhaps you’re wondering what this has to do with the data quality and data quality management of your organisation?

    Quite simply, the need for choice applies to every aspect of life. Making positive choices for our health and wellbeing, choosing to make change that improves our environmental impact and making changes that will positively impact the financial, reputational and commercial wellbeing of your business, one of which is data quality management. The ultimate success of these initiatives stem from one thing: the conscious choice to change.

    It’s a simple case of cause and effect.

    So back to my original point of choice management, not change management.
    An organisational choice owned and performed by everyone, to improve your data quality and data cleansing, driven by a thorough understanding of the beneficial outcomes, will reap untold business rewards. After all, over 2,000 years ago Aristotle gave us a clue by saying “We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
    When you choose to improve and maintain the quality of the baseline data that is relied upon for business decisions:

    • Your business outcomes will improve because you will have a better understanding of your customers’ needs:
    • You will reduce wasted effort by communicating directly to a relevant and engaged audience:
    • Profits will increase as a result of data cleansing and reduced duplication of effort coupled with increased trust in your brand, and
    • Customer, employee and shareholder confidence and satisfaction will rise.

    Bringing your team with you on a journey of change and helping them to make the choices to effectively implement those changes, will require you to travel the ‘Change Curve’ together. As a business leader, you will be at the forefront leading the way and coaching your staff to join you on the journey.

    We can all find ourselves at the start of the change curve at times, in denial of the need or issues you know need to be tackled. You, and your team, may feel angry or overwhelmed by the scale of the change that you need to achieve. However, the key is choosing to accept the need to change, adapt and evolve. That way, you will move in your new direction much faster, taking the action to make your goals a reality.

    It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you feel that you have a mountain to climb and it can be easy to make decisions based on where you are now. However, choosing to make business decisions regarding your data quality and your need for data quality tools, that are based on where you want to be, is where the true power lies and that is where you will unleash your winning formula.

    Author: Martin Doyle

    Source: DQ Global

  • Helping your employees deal with change by communicating it the right way

    Helping your employees deal with change by communicating it the right way

    Last year, 70% of employees we surveyed indicated that they faced an increasing amount of change over the prior year. In addition, Communications executives identified employee change fatigue as the most pressing challenge they faced. Of course, 2020 was a year unlike any other, but before attributing these figures to the dramatic events of that year, consider this: from 2017 to 2019, employee change fatigue had already topped of the list of communications leaders’ challenges. Clearly, this is not a new phenomenon, and does not appear to be going away any time soon.

    VUCA Environment

    More and more leaders are using the term “VUCA” (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) to describe the current environment that employees are facing. VUCA is an acronym coined by the US army in the 1980s, but over the past several years, it has migrated into business lexicon to describe a constantly ongoing state of change. For communicators, it can be instructive to frame the communications strategy that will effectively engage workers in this brave new world.

    Given this context then, how can communications leaders engage employees to help them navigate this ever-changing world? First, they need to reconsider the nature of the changes that employees are facing. But they must also acknowledge the limitations of the traditional approach to change communications, which prioritizes large-scale, organizational transformations like a merger or acquisition, the launch of a new corporate strategy, or introduction of a new CEO.

    While all of these events still necessitate a communications response, they represent a small fraction – just 4% – of the total number of changes that employees face in a given year. This leaves a gaping hole in the way that leaders help employees through the other 96% of changes – everything from rolling out new technology in the workplace to getting a new manager – that may be individually smaller in scope but collectively have the potential to be quite disruptive.

    Communications’ response: adopting an always-on strategy

    When we studied how communications leaders were most successfully responding to this environment, we found that they were fundamentally shifting how their employees think about changes; not as one-off events, but by talking about change as an ecosystem. In short, they were adopting an ‘always-on change strategy,’ where they deliver regular, overarching messages that are not specific to any one organizational change, but rather discuss how the organization operates in a consistently changing state.

    Broadly speaking, an always-on change strategy includes two components:

    • Providing employees with regular information about how decisions have been made and the implications of a VUCA environment on the organization
    • Providing employees with access to self-serve networks and resources that they can use for just-in time support and to build their resiliency

    Adopting an always-on strategy dedicated to supporting employees in an environment of ongoing change has several benefits when compared to the traditional, one-off approach:

    • First, the regular information about VUCA helps reset employee expectations of stability. Information that is initially shared with employees to help them understand change often becomes outdated as business conditions change. As such, the always-on strategy can help employees become better primed to expect that their organization is in a consistent period of change.
    • Second, visibility into how change decisions are made helps employees follow the organization’s change journey and prompts them to seek out opportunities to consider how they can contribute to that journey.
    • Third, access to self-serve networks and resources helps employees find long-term success in a VUCA environment, which ultimately builds resiliency.

    One final advantage of adopting an ‘always-on change strategy’ is that it helps to mitigate the need for communications leaders to respond to every single change that occurs across the organization. On the contrary, an effective always-on communications strategy has the potential to be self-sustaining, as it provides employees the ability to access self-serve networks and resources in real-time, drawing upon peer-to-peer engagement to help each other navigate the ongoing VUCA environment.

    Author: Emmett Fitzpatrick

    Source: Gartner

  • Information Is Now The Core Of Your Business

    DataData is at the very core of the business models of the future – and this means wrenching change for some organizations.

    We tend to think of our information systems as a foundation layer that support the “real” business of the organization – for example, by providing the information executives need to steer the business and make the right decisions.

    But information is rapidly becoming much more than that: it’s turning into an essential component of the products and services we sell.

    Information-augmented products

    In an age of social media transparency, products “speak for themselves”– if you have a great product, your customers will tell their friends. If you have a terrible product, they’ll tell the world. Your marketing and sales teams have less room for maneuver, because prospects can easily ask existing customers if your product lives up to the promises.

    And customer expectations have risen. We all now expect to be treated as VIPs, with a “luxury” experience. When we make a purchase, we expect to be recognized. We expect our suppliers to know what we’ve bought in the past. And we expect personalized product recommendations, based on our profile, the purchases of other people like us, and the overall context of what’s happening right now.

    This type of customer experience doesn’t just require information systems; the information is an element of the experience itself, part of what we’re purchasing, and what differentiates products and services in the market.

    New ways of selling

    New technologies like 3D printing and the internet of things are allowing companies to rethink existing products.

    Products can be more easily customized and personalized for every customer. Pricing can be more variable to address new customer niches. And products can be turned into services, with customers paying on a per-usage basis.

    Again, information isn’t just supporting the manufacturing and sale of the product – it’s part of what makes it a “product” in the first place.

    Information as a product

    In many industries, the information collected by business is now more valuable than the products being sold – indeed, it’s the foundation for most of the free consumer internet. Traditional industries are now realizing that the data stored in their systems, once suitably augmented or anonymized, can be sold directly. See this article on the Digitalist magazine, The Hidden Treasure Inside Your Business, for more information about the four main information business models.

    A culture change for “traditional IT”

    Traditional IT systems were about efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity. These new context-based experiences and more sophisticated products use information to generate growth, innovation, and market differentiation. But these changes lead to a difficult cultural challenge inside the organization.

    Today’s customer-facing business and product teams don’t just need reliable information infrastructures. They need to be able to experiment, using information to test new product options and ways of selling. This requires not only much more flexibility and agility than in the past, but also new ways of working, new forms of IT organization, and new sharing of responsibilities.

    The majority of today’s CIOs grew up in an era of “IT industrialization,” with the implementation of company-wide ERP systems. But what made them successful in the past won’t necessarily help them win in the new digital era.

    Gartner believes that the role of the “CIO” has already split into two distinct functions: Chief Infrastructure Officers whose job is to “keep the lights on”; and Chief Innovation Offers, who collaborate closely with the business to build the business models of the future.

    IT has to help lead

    Today’s business leaders know that digital is the future, but typically only have a hazy idea of the possibilities. They know technology is important, but often don’t have a concrete plan for moving forward: 90% of CEOs believe the digital economy will have a major impact on their industry. But only 25% have a plan in place, and less than 15% are funding and executing a digital transformation plan.

    Business people want help from IT to explain what’s possible. Today, only 7% of executives say that IT leads their organization’s attempts to identify opportunities to innovate, 35% believe that it should. After decades of complaints from CIOs that businesses aren’t being strategic enough about technology, this is a fantastic new opportunity.

    Design Thinking and prototyping

    Today’s CIOs have to step up to digital innovation. The problem is that it can be very hard to understand — history is packed with examples of business leaders that just didn’t “get” the new big thing.  Instead of vague notions of “disruption,” IT can help by explaining to business people how to add information into a company’s future product experiences.

    The best way to do this is through methodologies such as Design Thinking, and agile prototyping using technologies should as Build.me, a cloud platform that allows pioneers to create and test the viability of new applications with staff and customers long before any actual coding.


    The bottom line is that digital innovation is less about the technology, and more about the transformation — but IT has an essential role to play in demonstrating what’s possible, and needs to step up to new leadership roles.


    Source: timoelliot.com, November 14, 2016

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