Change Management, Step 1: Create a Sense of Urgency

The urgency of digital transformation

Are you running a project for an entreprise social network project, a collaborative intranet or digital workplace? Do you see it as just an experiment blog-conduite-changement-urgences to find out what it might bring or are you convinced that the future of your organization is at stake?

John Kotter tells us that the success of your project depends on your answer to this question. Do you have a sense of urgency?

The term "urgency" may seem exaggerated, but an organization has to look at hundreds of topics, all vying for priority. If it doesn't appear to be urgent, if your organization thinks it can do without those new collaborative tools, then it will, even if the tools are implemented: users will simply not bother with them.

However, your competitors will be able to reap the benefits of greater collaboration. If they become more efficient and offer products or services that are newer, cheaper or simply better, they will encroach on your market. And if you're in the public sector, it is your prerogatives that will be threatened.

There is no need to give more demonstrations of the changes being brought about by what some call the digital transformation and other "Uberisation". But there are 2 facets to this. The first facet is the new relationships we have with customers or users or, disintermediation. The second facet is a new, more collaborative and much more efficient internal organization. It is this second aspect that concerns us here.µ

The risks

To measure the urgency, we suggest combining two visions: on the one hand, the risks of doing nothing while others advance, and on the other conduite-changement-risques the opportunities from which you could be the beneficiaries.

What ails your employees? What problems do they face? What diminishes their effectiveness?

To help you brainstorm, we propose identifying and classifying the problems along to two axes.

  • The first axis goes from communication to collaboration. Both are about the transfer of information. What varies is the degree of interactivity. It is therefore important to tackle them together.
  • The second axis goes from centralized to decentralized. Why? Because organizations must combine centrally organized business processes with an agility that requires a decentralized taking of responsibility.

The illustration is intended to make you think: the problems shown are examples that occur frequently.

The opportunities

French culture too often encourages us to look at the risks, where our Anglo-Saxon friends see the opportunities. It's about a twofold way of conduite-changement-2 seeing things, because you can find the same elements perceived as risks and as opportunities.

It would be a caricature to say that where an old company identifies risks, a start-up will see opportunities. In reality, in the same company, some people will be sensitive to risks while others will get enthusiastic about the opportunities. In the end, although is necessary to talk about the risks, it is essential to build your project around the opportunities.

Ask yourself these questions: What are your employees dreams? What would unleash their effectiveness? What would release their creativity?
We suggest you should think about this using the same axes. The second illustration gives you some ideas that might be food for thought.

So, have you developed a feeling of urgency about your internal digital transformation? In the next post we will see who you should form an alliance with


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