Door 14: Looking back to look forward

The Katapult Advent Calendar continues its reflections on people, collaboration and leadership in digital/business transformation.

Stop at regular intervals and take stock (end of each week is a great habit) – what has worked well, what hasn’t, what have we learned, what new info has surfaced? And how will we use all the insight going forward?

Include your team in this habit too – involve them in reflection, dialogue and evaluation. It doesn’t have to be time consuming – with careful facilitation you can make it relevant, focused and worthwhile.

Door 13: Lucia Day

Door 13 of the Katapult Advent Calendar hides a nod to our Swedish heritage.

13 December is Lucia Day in Sweden.

Lucia is an annual candlelit procession, a tradition of light, which takes place in homes, schools, workplaces and public places all around the country (and anywhere in the world where there are Swedes:-))

Lucia can be traced back to St Lucia of Syracuse, Sicily in the early 300’s and the old calendar where 12 December was believed to be the darkest day of the year.

The role of Lucia is to bring light (starting early in the morning of the 13th) to the darkest day before. Apart from being a beautiful beacon of light in a dark time of year, it’s a day of coming together in tranquility, kindness and gratitude.

Happy Lucia Day to you all!

Door 11: Bring people together – and talk

Another day of our Katapult Advent Calendar, with reflections and ideas for successful business/digital transformation.

Day/door 11: Bring people together – and talk

In change and transformation no one will have all the answers. There will be a number of challenges and solutions to figure out. And the more you can involve the people who will be impacted by the change, the better ideas and buy-in you will get.

Invite your key stakeholders in dialogue, exploring solutions, while also managing expectations (not all solutions will be possible or even needed to do)

Whose input do you need to invite?

Door 10: The Nobel Prize

The Katapult Advent Calendar continues….

Day/door 10: The Nobel Prize

Since 1901, on the 10th of December, the Nobel Prize is awarded in 5 categories- the Nobel Peace Prize is handed out in Oslo, Norway and the rest of them (physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and economics) are handed out in Stockholm, Sweden.

Since 1968, there is also a Prize in Economic Sciences awarded by Sveriges Riksbank in memory of Nobel. T

he Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, famous for inventing dynamite among other things, specified in his will that most of his fortune would be used for prizes for “those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.”

How cool is that! For almost 120 years, people have been awarded for the difference they’ve made to mankind in this prestigious Nobel Prize.

Today we are inspired by Nobel and the difference we can all make every day.

Door 9: Suspicion

They’re all suspicious of you. Every. Single. One of them.

What are these leaders actually doing in that boardroom? Who’s that new one who acts like he understands but doesn’t seem to have a clue? And what is that tie all about? Terrible tie. I do not like his tie.

The oldest emotion of mankind is fear, and the strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

So, employees resist, and with good reason. They have had changes slammed on them before which were tactically driven out of senior leadership or the technology department, masked as good for the business but in reality, felt more like a rouse masking a deeper operative at play, like job losses or headcount reductions.

People don’t fear change they fear the unknown. If they knew how good the future would be, they would welcome the changes necessary to get there.

Clear communication is the key. Confuse and you’ll lose. Keep it straightforward, try to inspire by appealing to peoples human nature, and be as consistent as you possibly can over the course of the transformation.

Door 8: Never assume people know how your transformation will improve their lives.

Never assume people know how your transformation will improve their lives.

Tell them.

“Always remember, people want to be taken somewhere.”

‘What does my future, after this change, actually look like?’, they’ll ask themselves. A bridge to America. A shining house on a hill. Starbucks offered to inspire and nurture their customers one cup of coffee at a time. Mens Wearhouse offered ‘you’ll actually like the way you look’.

We’re going to offer a happy ending to our employees’ story. That ending should be specific and clear. Nobody gets excited by a muddled vision. The best stories and journeys are not vague, they are defined.

And, when communicating, say something that actually gets the juices flowing. JFK would have bored the world if he had promised a “highly efficient and productive space program”. Instead, he told the world “we are going to put a man on the moon”.

We must tell our employees an end vision we have for their new working lives, in keynotes, email blasts, and the rest. Images are also important, sell the future, fill the gap of uncertainty, and you’ll save yourself from a world of pain on your transformation journey.

Door 7: A Smarter Organization

Organizations become smarter when intelligence meets intelligence and is multiplied. Human and artificial. People working collaboratively together and embracing the potential of AI.

For example, if we can use machines to process and analyse large amounts of data, we can free up people’s time to engage with things like the creative thinking process (which humans are unbeatable at), in collaboration with other people.

We are getting the best of two worlds; we are making use of unique human and artificial strengths. We can be smarter together, creating more intelligent organisations.

Are you making the most of all the brainpower in your organisation? Human AND artificial?

Door 6: Why Digital Projects fail

As even the most robust of industries become digitally disrupted, creating a digital workplace where employees can collaborate and engage with new ways of working is now imperative to survival.

From immersing ourselves in digitally created tools to digitally enhancing our physical experience, micro-revolutions are changing the digital world every 12 to 18 months.

As the digital world engulfs us all, here are the top reasons digital projects fail according to IBM’s 2016 Making Change Work Study, (with 1500 organisations):

(a) Changing mindsets and attitudes, 58%

(b) Corporate culture, 49%

(c) Complexity is underestimated, 35%

(d) Shortage of resources, 33%

(e) Lack of commitment from higher management, 32%

As you go through digital change of your own, are your prioritising the soft stuff, the intangible, the mentality? Because the stats show, unequivocally, it’s the ‘soft stuff’ that renders the hard outcomes.