Blog 29.5.2024

A modern organisation is change-capable


Work-life is in the throes of constant change, affecting working methods, tools, and the nature of work itself. The expectations and challenges impacting work – digitalisation, globalisation, innovation, diversity, and uncertainty – place significant pressure on organisations in both the corporate and public sectors.

A modern organisation strategically addresses change, proactively invests in flexibility, and continuously adapts its operations in line with business objectives, operating environments, and emerging technologies. To realise the benefits of investments in development, it is essential to ensure that changes are implemented effectively. This requires investing in personnel, as changes become a reality only when people start thinking and acting in new ways.

What is modern work?

For many, modern work is synonymous with digitalisation. Indeed, the cornerstone of modern work is the digital workplace, which enables work regardless of location or device. However, the concept of modern work extends beyond technology; it encompasses flexibility, independence, diversity, and continuous development.

Modern work is not necessarily easy or straightforward. It can be stressful, complicated, and uncertain. The nature of work is increasingly self-guided, requiring continuous learning and adaptation. We process large amounts of data and utilise a wide range of applications and systems. The potential to harness synergies between human and technology is growing. There is a constant effort to automate tasks, with computer programs handling routine, repetitive tasks, allowing people to focus on more creative and demanding work. Employee roles are evolving, new roles and tasks are being created, and some old duties may be eliminated altogether. Employees must constantly embrace new methods, tools, systems, and collaboration techniques.

American researcher Jane McConnell has extensively studied how organisations change and evolve in the digital age. Between 2006 and 2016, McConnell’s study on digital organisations involved more than 300 organisations internationally. One of the main conclusions was that the focus should shift from technology to people’s behaviors and attitudes. Consequently, modern organisations need to focus their development on ways of thinking, enablers, and abilities: human capabilities.

McConnell’s more recent research highlights a new, bold type of employee, representing a significant asset for organisations in this unstable, changing world. In her 2021 book, The Gig Mindset Advantage, McConnell describes flexibility, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a learning culture as crucial enablers for a modern organisation. The focus is on a full-time employee with freelancing initiative and self-management skills, who prioritises skill development, challenges norms, and shares knowledge.

No operating model nor process will change – no new technology or application properly taken into use – until people change their mindset and behavior, and thus, change their organisations.

The development of a modern organisation

Our industrial and public sector customers are experiencing a new wave of digital transformation (or rather waves in plural as the development evolves rapidly). With continuous development, the ability to implement changes becomes crucial. Successful changes require systematic actions and diverse support for diverse people. We humans are varied, and we adopt new things differently. It is important to view changes from various perspectives and provide tools to embrace them. Changes become a reality only when people start thinking and acting in new ways.

People-driven change management is key to realising change benefits

How to get started?

Developing organisational culture and harnessing human capabilities is time-consuming and intensive work that requires strategic decisions, ownership, and commitment. People-driven change management can help organisations sustain new functions, practices, and systems. Change management models and tools can ensure that the desired changes align with the organisation’s vision and strategy, allowing for the realisation of desired benefits.

Examples of how to enhance change management in your own organisation:

  • View your organisation’s training offering from a change management perspective:
    • Are employees offered support and training in change management capabilities? Consider providing managers and people in development and project roles a chance to participate in change management training and coaching.
  • View your organisation’s project models from a change management perspective:
    • Do you conduct change impact and stakeholder analyses in typical projects? Investing in a strategic, people-driven change plan based on stakeholder understanding can clarify change goals for employees and help different roles commit to the change in practice. Such a plan can also ensure sufficient resources for planning and implementing change management measures.

Boosting change management with Artificial Intelligence

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently sparked much discussion. Opinions vary, with some viewing it as an opportunity and others as a threat. Technology can support us, enabling employees to better adapt to the ever-changing work environment. AI is continuously pushing work in a more modern direction, improving digital workplaces, developing smarter industry solutions, and digitalising societal actors’ processes. In addition to these, AI can support change management, streamline everyday tasks, and free up time for human skills.

AI can take on tasks that are time-consuming but do not require human qualities, freeing up time for creativity. Examples of AI use cases in change management include:

  • Organising and classifying large amounts of data, such as interview or survey results
  • Creating virtual workshop notes and to-do lists
  • Drafting change communication materials

“Ideally, technology can support people in adapting to the ever-changing world of work and its phenomena “

At Gofore, we leverage our expertise in change management, technology, business, and design to help organisations succeed in modern work. Our approach posits that while technology enables development and scaling to future requirements, investments are realised through people.

change management

Teela Jokiranta

Senior Consultant

Teela is a change management specialist with a long experience with leading technology related projects in both Finnish and international organisations, both as internal development specialist as well as external partner.

With experience as liaison and interpreter between business and IT teams for several years, Teela's skill-set includes a good ability to grasp large entireties, project management, making technical topics approachable, communications, team work and people skills.

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