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Part 7 - Resistance

Now your digital transformation plan is in place – it’s time to act on it. But change is never easy. Even when people understand that something has to change, often people are still afraid of it.

Where Digital is concerned, this has never been truer. For most people, digital is unknown to them, and so they’re nervous about how it will impact on them. Naturally, this needs to be managed with a strong communications and training programme, but even with this in place, you should expect some “noise”.

Progress is impossible without change

Achieving something as radical as a digital transformation of your business is no easy task. To transform your company you need to look at every aspect of it - from HR to logistics and products to payroll, nothing should be overlooked. It’s perfectly natural that you’ll receive some resistance across areas of the organisation from people - especially if something similar has been tried before and didn’t succeed due to a lack of buy in and follow through.

Respond to resistance positively

No one should be berated for questioning change. But what is needed is a clear voice and direction of travel to show stakeholders, executives, and your employees that what’s planned should be tried. You’ll never please everyone, but if you get key people on board to champion the change, the majority will see the benefits and start supporting it. Once this happens, anyone still unsure of the changes should be convinced by their own team members. You’ll also need to implement a feedback loop that allows teams to raise things that they don’t think are working, so adjustments can be made where necessary.

If anyone is truly unhappy - talk to them. Question, do the changes make them feel less skilled or threatened in anyway? Do their new responsibilities no longer fit into the role they were employed for? If so, make sure you have training, workshops, peer-to-peer support or mentoring in place to help them overcome these anxieties.

Sing from the same hymn sheet

The key to achieving a clear and consistent direction across a company is gaining buy in from the top. Everyone needs to sing from the same hymn sheet. Not everyone will be happy with the change, but remember - it is for the overall protection of the future for the company.

If your leaders stand in support of this, the rest of the company will be more convinced.