As the famous quote by Grace Hopper, American Computer Scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral, reads: The most dangerous phrase in language is ‘We’ve always done it this way’.
For many this represents a valuable and motivational statement, that aligns the concept of danger with lack of change. Yet, in many medium to large organisations – the ‘corporates’ – this phrase is used time and time again as a means of justification to prevent change. It is used as a phrase to remind senior leadership that ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’, and that if a business is running well, it doesn’t need to implement or adapt to change.
In reality, however, the businesses that fail to evolve are those left behind, where even though this lack of evolution may not impact them immediately, it will eventually. Here’s why:
Unproductive outdated processes
Technology has continued to advance at an exponential rate, introducing new digital systems that have the capability to transform how businesses operate.
This is particularly true for advanced technologies such as Robotics Process automation (RPA), which – when utilised effectively – enable businesses to implement automated processes to eliminate unproductive, time-consuming and manual tasks.
Many senior leadership teams feel unnerved by this concept, failing to realise that aside from improving operational efficiencies and saving valuable time, cost and resource, the use of automation increases both customer and employee engagement, enabling team members to focus on more important job functions that drive business growth; whilst delivering an effective service to both existing and potential stakeholders on a 24/7 basis.
Digital skills gap
Latest reports predict that the digital skills gap is expected to widen during 2020, as the rate of technological advancement accelerates and continues to change the nature of the workplace.
It is important to note that any form of commercial transformation or change starts with people, and as the ‘frontline’ of any business, staff members need to have the opportunity to learn new skills, to advance their capability and adapt to digital change.
Those that do will not only be more ‘employable’ and, therefore, valuable, but they will be able to continue to make a fundamental difference to the running and growth of your business, both in the short and long-term.
Reduced competitive advantage
As a business leader, you need to constantly develop and evolve to maintain competitive advantage. The businesses too fearful of questioning their existing ways of working or too fearful to make any transformative change, will start to lose staff and customers alike.
Where employees will look for alternative roles in fresh-thinking, fast paced and progressive organisations not bogged down in slow processes and hierarchal decision-making, customers will be attracted by the product or service provider that consistently drives new ways of engagement, with effective and consistent communications, showcasing product or service quality.
Ultimately, technology has transformed the business sector; how organisations operate, recruit, market and grow. This means that any organisation within any given industry sector that embraces technology and new, more efficient ways of working, has the opportunity to transform their industry position and resulting market share.
However, this isn’t a one-time process. To continuously strive for success, you as a business leader need to constantly evaluate what is and isn’t working in order to continuously grow and develop. By evolving and being susceptible to positive and meaningful change, you will see results – maybe not immediately, but definitely.