Disruption in Banking & Finance roundtable – Business Change Management

One of the most challenging aspects of digital transformation is the ability to change minds so the employees can truly embrace a changed and modern way of doing business. What are the main challenges of business change management and what should the transformation agenda include in this regard?

Neelam Tandon: in my experience, there’s many challenges that financial institutions face and I’ll probably talk to three. The first one is around people know change needs to happen but they don’t necessarily want to change. And it’s really important upfront to think about how you’re going to build our advocacy. And the main focus there is around two-way communication and that cultural change piece. What I mean by that is spending time with the stakeholders who you’re likely going to change in terms of how their business is run to understand what their goals, what their objectives and what their pain points are and then drawing a line back to that transformation initiative to find out actually how are you using data going to change that business and solve their objectives, solve all their pain points and their goals. And through that you start to build advocacy and quite frankly that’s a critical factor for any transformation success. The second one I’ll talk to is around how do you make sure people are using your capabilities that you’ve deployed and using data is critical. Really important to understand who’s using the capabilities, who’s not using the capabilities and what’s the troubles they’re experiencing. And those data insights are so important and powerful because it allows you to prioritise your actions and also decide how you’re actually going to deploy those at speed and make a difference to digital adoption but also customer experience. And the third one is probably my favourite because digital adoption actually isn’t a point in time, it’s actually an endurance sport. And for that you’ve really got to think upfront what is the resourcing you need for the short term and long term to be successful and also ensuring that your stakeholders provide resourcing so they’ve got skin in the game to deploy and make sure the transformation is successful. So they’re probably the three points I’d refer to.

Janine Woodside: I might just start by saying, you know, transformation is not easy. I think if digital transformation was easy, we wouldn’t be sat around this table today. And some of the stats around transformation are quite eye-watering. So something like 50% of transformations meet the intended business objectives. There’s a lot of waste in this. And if I look across sort of the transformation programs that I’ve sort of seen in my career, there’s probably a few learnings there from a change perspective that I’d like to draw out. I think the first one is really ensuring that you’ve got clearly aligned vision and leadership across the transformation, and really investing the time upfront to make sure that you’ve got that leadership alignment. Everybody’s singing from the same song sheet, and you’ve got a really clear vision for everybody to align to. I think that the second piece is digital transformation in my mind, is really human-led, technology-enabled. So really having the business own and lead this rather than it feeling like something that technology is forcing upon them is really key. Thirdly, I think no two transformations are the same. So, taking a really tailored approach to the change, understanding what the impacts are across customer, across process, across operating model, vendors, et cetera, and really having a sort of targeted and tailored approach to that change is really key. I think good governance is really critical. And that is regardless of how you’re delivering the transformation, be it agile, waterfall or hybrid, very strong governance for complex transformation programs is key. And understanding the decisions and trade-offs that have been made along the way. And then lastly I’d say sort of stepping back from all of this, you know, regardless of how good your transformation programme is, stepping back at a portfolio level and really understanding can the organisation actually absorb this change and all the other changes across all the other programmes holistically, is really key. So those are probably some of the learnings I’d add from a change perspective.

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