The Change Imperative: 5 tips for embracing change
By Hurol Inan (see Part 1 of this article here)
We know that change is all around us. Smart businesses are putting their best and brightest in charge of transformation initiatives to capitalise on this change. But it doesn’t take a doctorate in change management to do it yourself—with five simple strategies your business can also make the most of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Before we explore five strategies for embracing change, let’s look at what marketing leaders are currently doing. There are four important territories to explore as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as it relates to the marketing organisation:
Customer engagement – how do we use digital technologies like AI and VR to enhance the customer experience and improve communications across all channels?
Employee empowerment – how do we make sure that employees, both the mobile and fixed workforce, have the right devices and systems to make smarter decisions and perform at their peak?
Process enablement – how do we use technology to automate for scale and productivity while also enhancing outcomes using technologies such as predictive modelling and internet of things?
Transformation of products and services – how do we create new value for the customer?
Leading marketing organisations start by laying a strong foundation using strategies like Marketing Automation. It’s quick to set up, easy to test and learn, and gets great results in terms of customer engagement.
Then, they explore ways to create new value. They take vulnerable legacy operations or strategies and disrupt them, turning them into opportunities. They seek out ways to transform their business to provide better value to customers.
Most of all, these marketing organisations are proving that change is possible. If your organisation is keen to embrace the fourth revolution, you must embrace holistic, disruptive change that encompasses five key areas.
1. Open up
Change presents significant complexity and uncertainty, but the opportunity is massive if we can unlock it.
To do so, we should move away from control (aka micro management). At the other end of the scale, delegation is as bad as control—we cannot cannot delegate complex, major transformation initiatives down to a single person.
To achieve an open, collaborative organisation, today’s managers should evolve into facilitators who encourage work at all levels to tackle transformation with the best and brightest.
2. Foster diversity
It is a known truth that if we hang around people like ourselves, we won't change. Without diversity, it is hard to challenge the status quo.
If we can respect, nurture, and leverage diversity—and in doing so, collaborate well—we can create amazing solutions.
3. Adopt agility
Agile is not new. Software engineers have been using it for years to increase the quality of their product.
A key element of agile development is the speed of delivery. When you work in an agile way, there is no need for sign-offs, so no re-working of projects. When it’s done, it’s done … and it’s done fast.
An agile methodology is fantastic in any environment where there is an element of uncertainty, which is certainly in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
4. Implement a test and learn culture
A test and learn mentality is the best way to deal with uncertainty and risk, but you have to be bold with it.
To achieve transformation, you can’t just change buttons on a website. Instead, you should pick areas that are big enough to really experiment with in terms of impact on your business outcomes. In doing so, you can achieve transformational and incremental change.
5. Work to shorter planning horizons
Gone are the days when marketing organisations planned out 3 to 5 years in advance. In today’s state of flux, a more realistic planning horizon is 6 to 18 months. But a shorter timeframe doesn’t mean you need to follow populist trends or adopt a short-term mentality.
The principles around delivering value and caring for the well-being of people—be they employees, consumers or citizens—will steer you in the right direction; and you can approach shorter planning horizons in an organic and adaptive way.
Change is not imminent. It is happening now.
There is no need to wait for change or defer decisions about how your marketing organisation will embrace the future. Do it now. Surround yourself with clever people, share the driver’s seat and enjoy the ride.
If you like the idea of embracing change and want to discuss the possibilities for your business, get in touch today.