Digital Transformation

A new day requires new ways: designing “Digital Change” for effective transformation

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The tectonic plates of business and technology are shifting. In our anytime, anywhere world, the rate of change business leaders face is advancing in the blink of an eye. Today’s business norm is to optimize disruptive innovations powered by a digital revolution. The digitization of work and talent is driving a need for new approaches to managing business change.

Traditional change management approaches no longer apply to organizations seeking to undertake necessary, major transformation and reinvention. Effective transformation in our environment today requires a fresh new change management approach – one that is powered by neuroscience, enabled by digital tools and AI/cognitive capabilities – enabling accelerated transformation, shifting cultural change and expediting employee adoption to new ways of working, process and technology in real time.

Radical change requires radical thought. A 2016 IBM Institute of Business Value (IBV) Global Skills Study of nearly 6,000 executives across 47 countries found that more than 50 percent cited “willingness to be flexible, agile and adaptable to change” as a critical success factor for their workforces. And it turns out that employees are ready and digitally enabled to challenge the organizational status quo. But today they expect to be engaged differently, personalizing their roles in the journey.

During the past year IBM’s Global Talent and Engagement practice has completely reimagined our approach to change management. Our new digital change solutions are centered on the requirements and preferences of today’s organizations and their most precious asset and driving force for change: your people.

Here are a few big-picture ways we’re helping clients effect change in the digital world to transform from the outside in:

Amplifying the employee voice through digital channels – personalizing change by placing employees at the center of the change, leveraging neuroscience to simplify behavioral habits and adopt digital and social channels to communicate, co-create and collaborate.

  • Rethinking organizational and user-centric design for a digital world. This means designing a ‘sense and respond’ change management approach to listen and act quickly by incorporating employees’ experiences into change adoption – agile change.
  • Measuring the transformative value of change management – defining a set of specific behaviors that can be measured and providing real-time insight on the progress of the change program.

Our clients’ leaders are loving our new digital change approach because it makes sense to their people, thus they’re seeing more meaningful results more quickly than with outdated change methods.

And while client satisfaction is our passion, we’re thrilled that one of the foremost consulting industry experts has taken notice, too. Recently IBM was named a Leader in the IDC 2017 MarketScape: Worldwide Organizational Consulting Services report. Of note, analysts cited our ability to integrate appropriate people analytics into client engagements and support business change abilities across organizations. Furthermore, we’re leading in helping our clients become more agile, drive innovation through their organizations and improve operational efficiencies.

As you contemplate your own organization’s transformation journey, I hope you’ll take advantage of this valuable IDC research and consider what makes for a successful teaming relationship in this most critical of endeavors.

We continue to enhance and evolve our digital change solutions to reflect today’s business challenges and the outcomes our clients demand. We welcome your feedback and questions and indeed are happy to share some great client success stories.


Partner and Vice President, Talent & Engagement Global Leader Global Business Services

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