Workforce and Culture: Engage with them.

Workforce and Culture: Engage with them.


IT modernization is not only as a matter of changing technology. But changes in technology are sustained only if people accept and embrace them. Therefore, you must align your new systems with the culture of the company. Beginning with a clear recognition of the new habits that people should adopt. An evolution in the technological architecture can imply a significant cultural change, with a new structure and new competences.

Consider where the pitfalls may be. For example, do employees understand how to analyze the data your company  and protect your privacy? Do they have the operational skills to coordinate with external partners? Do you have concerns or doubts that have not been addressed? With that information your leadership can determine what types of training, support, recruitment and changes in the workforce are necessary.

Involve users of the new technology, encouraging them to play an active role in the transformation effort. At GE Digital, for example. They made sure that the users felt that they were part of the process. Roles were assigned to play in the implementation and provide periodic updates on the benefits delivered. As a result, employees who used the system felt invested in the results. Commitment to that scale is not easy, but it is essential.

For more guidance on organizational culture, see The Critical Pew: energize your company culture by choosing what really matters, by Jon Katzenbach, James Thomas and Gretchen Anderson. There are already some powerful elements of your culture, including the attributes of the company and the behaviors that work well, that you can gather on the side of an effective change. In addition, each company has "authentic informal leaders," people at all levels of the hierarchy who are already demonstrating the behaviors they need for modernization because they believe in the new direction. Find these individuals and work closely with them. They can inform you about your organization's willingness to change, the places where the resistance will occur and the magnitude of the effort required to overcome it.

For a large insurance provider in Australia, the critical starting point for modernization was to create a cultural acceptance of the idea of ​​"dismantling the old and embracing the new". To achieve this, the technological leadership provided a solid mandate for simplification and communicated it. consequently. The mandate helped bring teams together around a common set of priorities, decisions and behaviors. At the Ottawa Police Service, where there was a strong culture and deep-rooted values ​​and beliefs, the new initiative sought to transfer critical police surveillance applications to the cloud. The front-line staff had to be convinced that security and privacy issues could be adequately addressed. The leadership of PAHO brought a high ranking official from another geography, someone with whom people from all levels of the organization could relate. This person came from a similar police service that had made a similar transition, and now joined PAHO temporarily to help make this transition work. In the end, more than 150 policemen contributed ideas regularly. When they were valued and implemented, a virtuous circle of greater participation, greater acceptance and better results was created. Questions for engaging your workforce and culture:
  • What do people need from the new IT systems to be productive? How do we know?
  • How technologically capable is our existing workforce? What skills do they already have and what do they need to develop?
  • What kind of cultural changes need to occur for new systems to be adopted? How do we create this?

27 de Marzo, 2019