Making a success of your digitalisation project
How to overcome the fear of change?
Part 1: Why industrial practices are outdated and what will inevitably change in the industry?
By nature, we like to have our bearings, our habits. In short, to be in our comfort zone. Doing something new or different creates a feeling of fear in most of us. This comes from the fear of failure but especially from the gaze of others (loss of reputation). The more visible a subject is, the larger the audience, the greater the fear of others’ judgement and therefore the greater the obstacle to expressing one’s ideas, one’s convictions, to proposing something new and unprecedented.
There is a trend to conform to the most generally accepted opinion and to limit oneself to solutions that have already been tried and tested and that are agreed upon, even if they are outdated or unsuitable. There are other signs of this lack of confidence in one’s ability to change:
- The massive use of external consultants to copy and paste so-called “good practices” (rather than involving internal consultants who know the real context of the company and can assess their real usefulness).
- Secondly, the choice of technology or software not because it is relevant to the company’s strategy but because it is the “leader” in its field and therefore “reassuring”.
It is human to fear change, and this poses a major challenge to any company committed to the digital transformation of its organisation. To innovate is to take the risk of being the first to do something that no one has tried before. We sometimes move forward cautiously, we may fail, but we learn from our mistakes and start again in a different way. The company must value this type of approach; innovation depends on encouraging employees to adopt this mindset.
This is particularly true in a company that is profitable today. Success can lead shareholders and employees alike to believe that the need to change is less vital than for a company in difficulty. Why take the risk of changing an organisation and tools that work? The answer is right in front of us: how many organisational models that were once relevant are now outdated and will be in turn in the increasingly near future? Even for successful companies, stand still is not an option.
A prerequisite for digital transformation:
Keep in mind that 70% of digital transformation projects do not achieve their goals according to a study conducted by Harvard University. Of the $1300 billion spent on digital transformation in 2019, the study estimated that $900 billion was wasted. Why do some companies succeed in their digital projects and others fail? Fear of change is one of the main reasons for low employee engagement and involvement in corporate innovation projects. It is this fear of change that must be overcome as a priority, otherwise the transformation project will only amplify the shortcomings of the current organisation. In the next post, we will discuss solutions to overcome the fear of change.
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