Change management

Change is constant. With innovations in technology, changes in markets and methodologies, the corporate landscape is constantly evolving. It only makes sense that business adapt to these changes or get left behind.

Indeed, the business that adapt the quickest often carve out a competitive edge for themselves, while the ones mired in the inertia of the old ways, languish behind.

As Prof. Rosabeth M. Kanter of Harvard Business School noted, successful companies have “a culture that just keeps moving all the time”. Change is often arduous and beset by uncertainties and fear. It’s human nature to relish stability. Especially the sort of stability that saw a business through years of profit and efficiency. Why rock the boat when there’s been nothing but smooth sailing?

Of course the reality is, the tides have turned. The same stability that was once an asset is now a liability. Herein lies a fundamental component of change management – convincing employees (from senior executives all the way down that change is necessary.

When it comes down to it, businesses don’t change, people do. There are many different change management implementation frameworks but in a nutshell, the following needs to take place.

The first step is a reality check; a brutally honest look at what needs to change, as well as communicating this to all levels of the organization. Because change needs to occur at the lowest individual level, all the way up.

Then comes implementation. This involves communicating, very clearly and to all levels of the organization, the overarching vision of the change. This is to ensure that there is no disconnect between the expectations of the employees and the anticipated change. If employees do not agree or fully grasp the logic behind the change, then there will be real problems in implementing such a change.

It is imperative that the change is owned by everyone, from the CEO and senior executives, all the way down the rung of the corporate ladder. Change is not something to be delegated, like project management. It is a process that everyone needs to embrace for it to be successful.

For example, in 2004 when Shell implemented Downstream­One, it was abundantly clear that the change programme started and ended with its new group chairman.

Moreover, this example illustrates another necessary aspect of successful change management: the importance of good leadership, not to command that change just happens, but like all good leaders, to lead by example.

Embracing change will also put leaders in a unique position to empathize with employee concerns and provide the necessary support during the implementation process.

Of course there are other aspects that must be taken into consideration. Change management is not a one size fits all approach. A change management program must take into consideration the unique idiosyncrasies of a particular organization, adjusting the program to work with their particular strengths and weaknesses.

There must also be a clear road map to success, one that takes into account a realistic time frame and that also celebrates small wins on the road to change.

In many ways, change management is similar to a person ditching unhelpful old habits and replacing them with new, healthier ones, obviously on a much larger and more complicated scale. However, it is prescient to note the analogy as organizational change management often encounters similar obstacles to success.

Time, communication and measured changes, as well as ownership of change from all levels, is crucial to the goal of true change.

How to make ‘offshoring’ work for you

Love it or loathe it, offshoring in the telecommunications industry is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. However, offshoring is not always the best way to cut costs. It’s true that by outsourcing activities such as software architecture, operations and even R&D, technology companies can become more competitive. But significant savings can also be made by outsourcing to a local company that has the right skills and cost structure.

The pressure on telecommunications companies to develop new technologies while simultaneously reducing spending is immense. This is due in no small part to the rapid rate of digital transformation. Yesterday’s fanciful idea quickly becomes today’s must have. In this environment, we are seeing remarkable advances in the internet of things (IoT), big data, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), to name but a few.

Each of these innovations promises – or threatens – to have a huge impact on the telecommunications industry. For a start, they all demand faster processing times and more bandwidth. In its report VR and AR: The Real Deal! Cisco predicts VR and AR traffic to increase by 127% per annum until 2020. Meanwhile, traffic forecasters already talk in terms of Petabytes (the number 1 followed by 15 zeroes) and Exabytes, which are 1000 times larger.

For industry players responding to these requirements, offshoring has the obvious benefit of cost reduction. Some argue that it can also improve quality and effectiveness. On the other hand, offshoring also raises questions about security, customer service and the loss of local jobs.

There is also the issue of unexpected costs, which can arise due to:

  • The process of selecting a supplier
  • Travel for liaison and supervision
  • Transitioning to an offshore model
  • Local redundancies
  • Ramping up with new suppliers
  • More expensive management processes

The online magazine CIO.com has long argued that these costs can add between 16% and 65% to an offshored IT project.

As a professional services supplier to the telecommunications industry, Hidden Cove is familiar with this debate. Our guiding principle in business is “enabling the success of others” and we apply this when it comes to offshoring.

We see ourselves as a quiet haven of creative talent and cost-effective results. In practical terms, this means our clients can choose to make savings and innovate by outsourcing to a local supplier. An added advantage is that all client contact – including support – is conducted by our local staff.

It’s not a matter of offshoring or not. Rather, it’s about ‘right-shoring’, or knowing when to offshore and when to keep it local.

Splunk Live

Hidden Cove was invited to attend Splunk Live Melbourne – and all day event showing off the abilities of Splunk across multiple uses. The information particularly around where data is coming from and how it can be utilised offered fascinating insights…and showed how AR-based visualisations will be a potential future tool.

AR and Appearition

As part of our sister company, Appearition’s AR activities, Hidden Cove were given a rare glimpse of the power of AR via demonstration of its commercial applications. The technology is incredible and can be utilised across most industries for valuable ROI. Check out www.appearition.com.au for info on how it works.

New appointments at Hidden Cove

Hidden Cove is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members of the team – Albert Kalaja and Scott Brown

After a successful career to date in business growth and strategy, as well as building and leading diverse teams, Albert has joined Hidden Cove as its COO to manage the next growth phase for the organisation. Albert brings to Hidden Cove a wide array of industry experience that will be vital in Hidden Cove’s continued success.

 

Scott Brown has been brought on as Hidden Cove’s Talent Acquisition Lead, focused on providing the best in talent sourcing and market guidance to Hidden Cove’s clients. Scott offers over 12 years in strategic IT&T talent sourcing and management and is here to add more strategic guidance to Hidden Cove’s professional services and talent management processes.