My experience of organisations facing a challenge is that they want rapid progress on the most urgent and important opportunity to improve. However, identifying those opportunities can be difficult. For most organisations, it takes time, the right people, a decent budget and intuition.
The costs of investigating what’s possible, mean the people who can find these opportunities are those with the budget and mandate to do so. In reality, these people are the organisation’s most senior managers or executives, even though the desire to find opportunity also exists at much lower levels within the organisational structure. As a result it’s much easier to lead when you’re at the top of an organisation.
A key part of leadership is defining the difference between where the organisation is, and where the leaders want it to be; but that won’t translate into beneficial change unless leadership can answer that critical question for everyone affected ‘what does this mean to me?’. In my experience, it’s that second part that organisations struggle with the most.
Managing what change means to the people affected is the strength of Change Managers - people who deal with the human aspect of change. The outcomes from Change Managers’ work is the hardest to measure; and as a result, it’s the first element of transformational change that gets de-prioritised or removed altogether.
De-prioritising Change Management usually means those affected by change are left with little or no information about what the future might hold. In the absence of rigorous analysis, they fill the void with their own worst fears.
But fear is the enemy of opportunity. The world’s richest man completely rejects its power. When asked ‘What keeps you awake at night?’, Jeff Bezos replied: ‘I sleep like a baby.’ That answer resonated with me, because sustainable, beneficial change should foster excitement not fear.
So, how does an organisation create excitement around the possibility of change?
One way of doing this is by giving people one coherent vision of the organisation’s future at the high level and in the detail so that everyone affected can see what it could mean to them - something that could be delivered by a Digital Twin.
A Digital Twin is a virtual replica of a real-world organisation (for example a business unit, function or shared service centre). By monitoring its real-world counterpart, the Digital Twin replicates reality so the future of the organisation can be predicted under multiple different scenarios.
Used effectively, a Digital Twin would enable leaders to translate their big ideas into what they mean at a personal level. This detailed big-picture thinking is foundational to getting better buy in, making things happen faster, and exciting those affected by the change.
Using traditional methods, this kind of rigorous analysis would require expensive and lengthy investigations. With a Digital Twin, the incremental cost and time required to perform these investigations is immaterial. It means the power and insight that is normally only available to leaders with the budget to pay for it, becomes a tool throughout the organisation. It creates a more collaborative organisation which can tap into its human potential in a digital age.
To find out more about Digital Twin or to download a copy of the Gartner report: ‘Create a Digital Twin of Your Organization to Optimize Your Digital Business Transformation Program’ please click here.