Make Change your Superpower!
You will not master tomorrow’s challenges with yesterday’s solutions: Part 1/2
Today’s world is constantly changing and is, therefore, more challenging than ever. Due to high pressure to change, all industries are in motion. This is critical for the survival of many companies. They have to search for new solutions constantly to adapt to change and to keep thriving.
As Charles Darwin already noticed in his magnum opus “The origin of species”: Only those who are most adaptable to changing environmental conditions will survive. And this can also be applied to today’s companies because the digital change will become even faster in the future.
Use diversity to magnify your superpower
The study “Diversity is good for growth” conducted by PwC looks at diversity in companies and how it affects sales and customer satisfaction. According to this survey, 45 percent of companies are merely trying to avoid discrimination. Only 2 percent have integrated diversity approaches into everyday company life and have reached a very high level of corporate diversity.
The level of diversity has a direct impact on the attractiveness of the company. If diversity and inclusion are anchored in employer branding, the company is more attractive for potential employees and has a better chance of attracting outstanding talent. According to the study, 72 percent of employees are satisfied in a company with mature diversity management, while only 37 percent are content in companies with a low level of diversity. While 66 percent of the customers of highly diversified companies are satisfied, only 35 percent of customers of companies with low levels of diversification are content with the performance of the company.
As this study shows, diverse teams are an asset in every company. A mix of juniors, seniors, different countries of origin or areas of expertise can strengthen teams and companies enormously. Although many teams start off as quite diverse, all individual team members pass the funnel of uniformity. Different processes, methods, and tools work together to reduce complexity, but at the same time, they also reduce the previously highly praised diversity.
As a result, the team is no longer so diverse. It has become rough around the edges and is constricted in its day-to-day activities. This leads to frustration, less creativity, and a decreasing ability to react to change and to shape it proactively. In an act of self-defense, employees look for their own solutions to urgent challenges and try to get back a certain degree of freedom. In project management, this daily struggle is often characterized by numerous Excel spreadsheets. At first glance, Excel seems to be a perfect solution for the individual employee. It can be tailored to individual needs; team members can design everything themselves and also react very quickly to upcoming requirements. If you look at this solution from a business point of view, however, the whole thing doesn’t look so rosy anymore. Suddenly, there are a lot of different spreadsheets in the company that are not interconnected and do hardly allow for collaborative work. This does not help the company because there is no common data basis, no overview for the management level, and no joint work on the data.
Make change, not features!
Activating and promoting flexibility, co-designing digital workspaces and, shaping change in the company are pillars of success. If end-users and relevant stakeholders are actively involved in the (design) development process of business software solutions and contribute their experience, this is called co-creation or co-design. Relevant team members become co-creators and can support the development of new products, services, and systems. But how does a company manage to create change and flexibility together with its employees? One point is crucial here: You don’t stay up to date by updating processes or methods once but through constant change. Change is the new superpower! Various “ingredients” have proven themselves in everyday life to be able to shape this change.
Variety of methods
In today’s project landscape, there is a multitude of different methods varying from traditional to agile and everything in between.
If the problem and the corresponding solution are well known, teams can handle it with classical/traditional methods such as the waterfall method. But often, the best way to overcome a challenge is still unknown. Teams then resort to agile methods like Scrum. However, if the problem and the solution are both unknown, teams are faced with a complex challenge. Through innovation methods such as design thinking, completely new ideas are created and brought to market. These are strategies often used by start-ups.
So, when a company is faced with the challenge of solving an unprecedented problem, it is not expedient to concentrate on just one method — the mixture is essential. There is no right or wrong method, only better and less suitable ones. ″One size fits all″ is no longer a competitive strategy. Individual teams should not be too constrained by specifications but should have the freedom to decide on their own which processes or tools they need for the best possible outcome. In project management, this approach has not yet been widely implemented, as project management software has always been characterized by a multitude of features.
What kind of software supports various project management methods in one company at the same time? On the one hand, there is the option to ignore that employees wish for change and new methods. Managers continue as they have always done it. However, teams, divisions, and the entire company become unable to react to change.
Teams that find themselves in such a situation usually resort to Microsoft Excel. However, there are more disadvantages than advantages, especially for a company as a whole. A third option are specialized cloud solutions. However, it depends on the industry to what extent these are already established in the company’s IT landscape. Due to the simplicity of data creation, there is a risk of having many small micro cloud solutions that are not part of an overall solution and joint processes. A project management platform, on the other hand, supports a variety of methods and offers teams the opportunity to work together on documents.
So, today’s companies are faced with the question of how to promote diversity and individuality without getting lost in a quagmire of disconnected micro-solutions. At the same time, they are under massive pressure and have to adapt at lightning speed to the rapid changes in their environment. An unsolvable dilemma? We will show how to untangle this Gordian knot in the second part of this blog post.