Digital Transformation and the organisational resistance to change

Digital Transformation And The Organisational Resistance To Change

Never change a winning team or if you are up to something good you don’t want to disturb it, do you? But immersing yourself in digital transformation means having a lot of headaches. On the other hand, in reality it is much riskier not to try this step and only do something when changes are suddenly inevitable.

The rough estimate of people who are open to change is around 10% to 15%. These people are open to taking new experiences and challenges and learning new knowledge and skills. However, change equates to agony for the remaining 85 to 90%. It is because this is something way beyond their control. The uncertainty and change are viewed as a struggle to take a new responsibility associated with a lot of risks. For companies, if they see their business doing well, their natural reaction will be not to apply any changes and continue what they are doing.

This way of thinking is quite common and in some cases it might even make sense but since the Corona crisis we have seen that circumstances can change overnight. The Corona crisis is just one of many examples for a fast changing time. The consequences of being resistant to change are dire, and they could reflect in numerous ways.

Digital Transformation’s Lost Opportunities

When Kodak created its first digital camera, there was a lot of internal resistance in the company. This resulted in putting away the idea of introducing it in the market since it was believed to threaten the legacy of Kodak in the film industry. When Bell Atlantic saw the bleak future of landline phones, it changed its market to wireless phones, cable television, and broadband and changed its name to Verizon. What Bell Atlantic did could’ve been done by Kodak. The emergence of mobile phones took a toll on the industry of landline phones. However, Bell Atlantic accepted the inevitable change and protected its name by adapting to that.

According to Matt Taylor, who is an innovator and architect, it is in retrospect that the future can be justified. This is true for Bell Atlantic when they made that crucial decision to drastically change the company without any certainty of what would happen next.

Digital customers these day will not wait for you to adapt, for them today it just takes 5 seconds on their mobile phones to buy from your competitors in no time.