IS RESISTANCE MAKING YOUR TRANSFORMATION SLOW & INEFFECTIVE?
This case highlights the 3 tactics that helped turning transformation resistance into the acceleration of a successful transformation

The Challenge of an IT organization

The IT organization – with +400 people – within a financial services company was on a transformation journey in response to the rapidly changing customer demands they were facing.

The IT organization operated in four departments across two countries, and in all of them resistance from the workforce made the implementation of the transformation slow and ineffective.

The roll-out of the transformation needed to be adjusted. As a result, Innovisor was brought in to map the informal network and to understand the vibe within the IT organization. This was to clarify what the issue was and how to solve it.

Two insights from the informal organization networks

1. Collaboration
The Innovisor diagnostic revealed a silo-based collaboration network. Less than 20% of the collaboration was between individuals from different departments. This fragmentation was also present on the management level, where about half of the managers had no connection to other managers.

Given the fragmentation, it was not surprising that engagement data showed that people did not feel informed about the transformation – even though most of the people understood the need for change. In addition, both employees and managers indicated that their colleagues were negative towards the transformation.

2. Influence
The high degree of fragmentation and negativity made the establishment of a group consisting of key influencers that could reach all parts of the department even more important. 12 people, equal to 3% of the workforce, were identified across the organization, and together they influence 86% of their colleagues.

What was next?

The following three tactics helped the organization achieve a successful implementation of the transformation initiative

  •  the first necessary tactic was to get senior managers aligned and moving in the same direction, which was achieved through focused sessions with senior managers. Once senior management was aligned, they worked with the rest of the people managers to create buy-in and ownership, which enabled all managers to act as role models for the transformation.
  • the second tactic was to engage the employee transformation team as a bottom-up communication channel. The team was involved in:
    • co-creating the way forward together with the Transformation Office
    • helping their colleagues to make sense of the transformation by understanding how it would improve their daily work experience
  • the third tactic was to set clear expectations toward the Transformation Office. Since the fragmentation of the department implied a risk of slow and inconsistent flow of information, the transformation office had to have patience and appreciate that this transformation may take a longer time than initially assumed. Continuously tracking the progress of the transformation proved very helpful for them in planning each step of the roll out.