7 Digital Transformation Traps: #7 Resistance to Change
If you’ve been following along for the past few weeks, you probably already know why digital transformation is critical for product leaders. But just in case you missed it, here’s a quick overview: There’s a reason why so many companies are reluctant to undergo digital transformation. According to McKinsey, 70% of digital transformation efforts fail.
Product leaders and teams face particular challenges, which we highlight in the most recent Product Excellence Report. For example:
- 57% of respondents are focused on driving innovation and delivering the right products
- 49% are focused on driving efficiencies across the product organization
- 48% of product leaders said identifying bottlenecks, clearing blockers, and helping teams ship faster were their top challenges
It turns out that most of these challenges can be addressed and solved by digital transformation.
Here’s why this matters to you: avoiding digital transformation is not actually an option. Put it off for too long and you risk losing your competitive edge, falling behind industry disruptors, and missing out on opportunities to grow and innovate. Plus, you’ll find it much harder to attract top talent. Here’s our hot take: Your choices are either to adapt or face the consequences of stagnation and irrelevance.
But it’s not all bad news: You don’t have to go through this transformation alone. Productboard has teamed up with Umbrage to combine our expertise in product management and digital transformation strategy to help you navigate the seven most common pitfalls organizations face on their digital transformation journey.
In this post, we’re looking at Trap #7: Resistance to Change.
Trap #6: Resistance to Change
Even with the best-laid strategies and preparations, you may find your coworkers (and even fellow leaders) resistant to change during digital transformation. This resistance can stem from various factors, including a lack of understanding, fear of job security, and unfamiliarity with new technologies and processes. To overcome this challenge, make sure you prioritize effective change management strategies and cultivate a culture that embraces continuous learning and adaptation (if you’ve already adopted continuous discovery, you’ll have a head start here).
Commit to clear and frequent communication that highlights the benefits and rationale behind the transformation. When you involve employees early on and provide them with the necessary support and training, you’ll help foster a sense of ownership and empowerment, which will lead to a smoother transition. Establishing a culture of continuous learning is another way to overcome resistance because you’ll be promoting active participation and encouraging your peers and team members to embrace new technologies, processes, and ways of working.
Don’t forget about your customers and partners, either! It’s essential to integrate their needs and perspectives into your transformation journey to foster a sense of shared ownership and get buy-in from stakeholders. Finally, leaders play a vital role in setting the right tone and behaviors, cutting through red tape as necessary, championing the transformation, and motivating everyone by selling the vision and reminding them of the opportunities at stake.
How to Get Started
To embark on this journey, start by listening to your employees and understanding their concerns and perspectives. Conduct employee surveys and actively involve them in the transformation process (from discovery and design reviews to demos) to create a sense of inclusion and empower them to contribute to the change. Make consistent education and communication efforts to emphasize the “why” behind the transformation. Pro tip: Use this communication plan to help you get started. This will inspire everyone with a compelling vision and remind them of the positive impact the transformation will have on your organization’s future.
It’s also critical to define what your change management journey will look like within the broader organization. Change management is key to driving adoption and buy-in for any transformation. Think holistically about your strategy, from understanding the change impact to measuring how change is being adopted. Start with a change management framework that outlines the key pillars to driving successful change in your organization. If you have any questions or need any more guidance on change management, the Productboard professional services team is here to help you!
Remember, digital transformation is an ongoing and dynamic process that will continually evolve. To tackle future challenges and opportunities, consider implementing flexible technology and processes. Embracing flexibility will be crucial in ensuring long-term success and competitiveness in the ever-evolving digital landscape. By proactively addressing resistance to change in this way, nurturing a culture of continuous learning, and actively involving employees in the transformation process, you can overcome obstacles and create an environment where digital transformation can thrive.
We’ve just scratched the surface here. If you want to avoid the other traps and set your organization up for success with your digital transformation, download our eBook for even more tips and tricks.