In an instant, organizations had to rethink their ways of working to mitigate the operational impacts of the pandemic. While some of those changes will fall by the wayside, others are destined to stay for the long haul. This puts pressure on enterprises to ensure that their teams, culture, and structure are equipped to flourish over time.
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Migrating their full operations to the digital realm, for example, wasn’t on most companies’ radars before March 2020, but many companies have since thrived. Similarly, corporate leaders are now discussing whether hybrid work models are the future of work, even though employee preference — not necessity — is driving work-from-home requests. Apple is one example of a culture-obsessed company that’s sticking with a hybrid approach, asking employees to return to the office three days a week starting in October. Uber and Salesforce made similar announcements in recent months.
Some of the same approaches that companies took to advance their digital transformations can help them succeed in this new normal. When a corporation embarks upon a large-scale transformation, it must adopt new ways of working. Traditional models in which people are siloed and work independently just won’t cut it. The biggest factor to success is the operating model itself. That was true with digital transformation, and it remains true as companies bounce back from the pandemic.
Organizations constantly need to innovate, differentiate, and deliver at scale. We encourage enterprises to adopt what we call the 4M approach: method, model, machinery, and mindset. This includes a five-step digital transformation methodology — a customer-centric framework that allows the right degree of discovery to find solutions that work. The model combines a digital lighthouse and “solution centers” to better understand exactly what the client needs, then incubating and testing those needs in the market to make it relevant (and, eventually, to scale it).
When it comes to the machinery element of the 4M’s, Wipro has a digital platform that accelerates the transformation process. Mindset, meanwhile, may be the most important characteristic, as transformations are more about people than tools. Companies can’t get away with just “doing digital.” They need to be digital.
With these four M’s, change can be both possible and profitable.
Getting The Rollout Right To Implement New Ways Of Working
Complications can arise as an organization begins to implement new ways of working. While all businesses have their own nuances to consider, here are four strategies that can improve a company’s probability of success.
Establish A Guiding Coalition
Oftentimes, operational change takes a concerted effort from a collective of individuals. Implementing new ways of working is no different. In fact, it will likely take some time to normalize such an initiative companywide before the training wheels can come off. Pull together a transformation team to monitor and manage the process.
Enlist The Proper Assistance
When executives start deliberating about outsourcing or partnership opportunities, it’s imperative to recognize the need for people or entities who have extensive experience with digital transformations. It’s also important to approach partnerships as an active sponsorship because there will be change-management imperatives that simply cannot be outsourced.
Focus On Outcomes
Any new way of working should in some way support business objectives and have a clear ROI. Does talent on tap, for instance, move operations in the right direction? Is the initiative a help or a hindrance? More important, will the initiative pay for itself over time?
Early wins are important, as is highlighting those wins for the team. Don’t wait for the perfect time to share outcomes. Whenever possible, get the word out. Doing so can actually improve the support and commitment to a new way of working throughout the organization.
The past 16 months have reinforced that preparation is key to organizational resilience. Technology plays a role, to be sure, but so do the culture, talent, and mindset across the organization. Disruptive events will happen again; it’s prudent to make a plan now to implement the new ways of working to mitigate or minimize the actual disruption to operations.
About the Author
Rajan Kohli is Global Managing Partner and President of Wipro‘s iDEAS (Integrated Digital, Engineering and Application Services) global business line, which employs more than 90,000 people committed to helping clients around the world accelerate their transformations and shift how they build and deliver digital products, services, and experiences. iDEAS brings together strategic design, domain, and consulting capabilities along with cloud applications, AI, data, engineering and next-generation technologies. Rajan is also a member of Wipro’s Executive Board and Group Executive Council.