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Working smarter: the next change management challenge

Authors: Ross, Quaadgras, 2010 Few firms have leveraged their digitized platforms and the wrenching organizational changes they have endured to achieve step changes in performance. A digitized platform leads to increased operational efficiencies. This advantage however has disappears as it is commoditizing. True sustained competitive advantage results from working smarter: an organization-wide mindset to continuously improve performance by using information from a digitized platform.

An ongoing transformation
Heroes close the gap between processes and inadequate information Platforms replace the isolated systems with end-to-end process support, creating a different work environment changed behavior in a two-part business transformation (see figure 1)

1. Transforming from heroics to discipline Transform from heroics to a culture of standardized, disciplined business processes where people learn new ways of working. This will generate long-term bottom line benefits. 2. Transforming from disciplined processes to evidence-based management Transfer from disciplined processes because the full potential of a platform extends beyond process efficiency to business agility. Agility benefits result from transforming the decision-making habits of the organization to rely on analytics and evidence. This transformation involves significant organizational learning and ongoing change management. Business rules are regularly refined based on analysis of past experience and exceptions are identified.

Learning to work smarter

Learning to work smarter requires 4 management imperatives to be addressed iteratively: 1. Development of analytics backbone 2. Explicit management of business rules 3. Redesign of structures, roles and accountability 4. Cultivation of talent through formal training and informal mentoring The ability to rapidly respond to customer demands and new business opportunities is what makes working smarter a competitive advantage. It empowers firms to stay a step ahead of the competition. It is also energizes through constant change.