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8 Secrets To Creating Organisational Change Without Rocking The Boat

In today's rapidly evolving financial landscape, organisations are continuing to navigate a journey of digital transformation. Over 56% of CEOs plan to increase their investment in this shift. But what are the barriers to a successful transformation programme?

We gathered insights from over 19 key research sources to uncover the best strategies for driving change within the financial services sector.

As financial services continue to undergo rapid digital transformation, the pressure to adapt is more intense than ever.

With 56% of CEOs planning to ramp up their investment in digital change, understanding the obstacles is crucial.

What Are The Barriers To A Successful Change Programme?

According to a study from 2018, 73% of enterprise transformations fail to scale effectively enough to deliver a sustained return on investment.

73% of enterprise transformations fail to scale effectively enough to deliver a sustained return on investment

Leaders often struggle to gain unanimous support from stakeholders. Are you pushing for too much change or not enough?

Change can be a source of friction. Here are 8 secrets to creating change without causing disruption.

1. Communication Is Key

Strong communication with stakeholders, staff, and customers is essential for organisational transformation. Keeping employees informed about ongoing changes promotes trust and helps them embrace new processes.

  • Communicate frequently across various mediums including in-person, email, and video.
  • Enable a two-way conversation where employees can express concerns or ask questions.
  • Explain the context and benefits of the changes to help people understand the motivations behind them.

2. Choose Your Team Wisely

Securing the right talent is crucial for successful transformation. According to McKinsey, the right employees can accelerate digital transformation by 20-30%.

In 2021, many companies focused on hiring senior IT or technical staff, a trend set to continue. Microsoft predicts there will be 149 million new jobs by 2025 in roles such as:

  • Cybersecurity - e.g., Chief Security Officer.
  • Software Development - e.g., UX Designer.
  • Data Analysis and AI - e.g., Data Analyst.
  • Cloud Computing - e.g., Cloud Architect.
  • Privacy and Trust - e.g., Compliance Specialist.

“Attracting a diverse talent pool, developing their skills, and fostering workforce buy-in is crucial for successful transformation. Embracing hybrid working models can make an organisation more attractive as a workplace.”

— Isabelle Jenkins, Leader of Industry, PwC UK

3. Invest In Technology

Allocating a significant portion of the technology budget towards change can help reduce cybersecurity incidents.

Poor technology causes 32% of employees to leave their jobs

The right technology facilitates smooth transitions and equips employees to better serve customers in the face of digital change.

Current key areas for investment in financial services include big data and analytics, AI and machine learning, robotic process automation, and cloud infrastructure.

The Price Factor

When investing in tech, consider more than just the price. Neglecting factors like scalability, usability, and interoperability can lead to higher long-term costs. A survey revealed that poor technology caused 32% of employees to leave their jobs.

4. Train As You Change

While hiring new talent is important, so is training your existing staff. By the end of 2022, it's estimated that 54% of employees will need reskilling.

Many employees currently have low to moderate digital aptitude. Introducing new technology to staff without the proper knowledge can create friction. Fortunately, 68% of staff are willing to retrain.

Training existing staff can save financial firms significant costs, potentially up to £49,100 per employee. Additionally, it boosts engagement, productivity, and performance, leading to higher customer satisfaction.

91% of survey respondents indicated that a company's approach to training significantly influences their decision to work there. Upskilling fosters loyalty and attracts new talent.

“Companies that invest in their people, commit to their development, and respect their ideas build loyalty, making change management easier.”

— Daniel Newman, CEO, Broadsuite Media Group

5. Anticipate Problems And Risks

Effective risk management is crucial for successful change. Companies that continuously address risks have a higher success rate in transformations compared to those with an ad-hoc approach.

  • The most common risks include:
  • Employee resistance
  • Lack of staff awareness
  • Stakeholder commitment
  • Insufficient budgeting
  • Lack of management
  • Lack of governance
  • Lack of communication
  • Unclear deadlines

Proactively addressing these issues increases the likelihood of a successful transition and helps prevent unexpected challenges.

“In a world dominated by financial and regulatory risk, digital transformation risks are often overlooked. By managing these risks, boards can improve customer experience, future-proof their companies, and contribute to a resilient financial ecosystem.”

— J.H. Caldwell, Global Risk Advisory Leader, Deloitte

6. Celebrate The Small Wins

Recognising achievements, big or small, is crucial for maintaining employee morale and a strong company culture during periods of change.

31% of employees reported that being valued and praised encourages them to work harder

Celebrating small wins offers a positive way to measure progress and boosts productivity. 31% of employees reported that being valued and praised encourages them to work harder.

Plan ahead to mark key milestones and make sure to celebrate these moments to keep motivation high.

“Small wins matter because they happen more frequently than big breakthroughs. Waiting only for big wins can lead to frustration and quitting. Small wins provide the forward momentum needed for long-term success.”

— Professor Teresa Amabile, Harvard University

7. Treat Legacy As A Resource

While moving past legacy systems is necessary, it is also important to respect and leverage legacy processes. Organisations often struggle to let go of processes that have been integral to their operations for years.

Assigning leaders to identify and carry forward the valuable aspects of legacy systems ensures that new technologies meet staff expectations and maintain customer satisfaction.

This approach respects the established processes while integrating modern solutions.

“Supporting the needs of digitally savvy customers is a major challenge for established organisations. Legacy financial services often rely on decades-old technology. Migrating to new systems requires a clear vision and a progressive plan for modernisation.”

— Isabelle Jenkins, Leader of Industry for Financial Services, PwC UK

8. Future-Proof Your Plans

When planning for change, it's essential to ensure your strategy is adaptable to future developments.

The changes you implement now won't be the last ones you face over the next decade.

Consider the following questions to future-proof your strategy:

  • Does our change strategy have strong ESG foundations that align with our sustainability goals?
  • Are our processes and technologies equipped to meet current and future regulatory requirements?
  • What are our competitors doing? Have they made mistakes we can learn from?
  • Is this direction one our customers will appreciate?
  • Will it keep them satisfied for the next decade?

By keeping these 8 principles in mind, you can navigate change effectively.

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Communication In Change Management, Live About, 2022

The New Tech Talent You Need To Succeed In Digital, McKinsey, 2021

Microsoft Launches Initiative To Help 25 Million People Worldwide Acquire The Digital Skills Needed In A COVID-19 Economy, Microsoft, 2020

How The UK Financial Services Industry Can Create Sustainable Change, PwC UK, 2022

Implementing Technology Change, FCA, 2022

How To Make Digital Transformation Easier, Enterprise Times, 2021

Upskilling Workforce Can Save City Firms Millions, City A.M., 2022

Upskilling Or Hiring: The Best Way To Sustain Digital Transformation, WBR Research, 2021

The Big Power Of Small Wins, Medium, 2022

Digital Risk In Global Financial Services, Deloitte, 2022

The Four Building Blocks Of Transformation, Strategy+Business, 2021

The Importance Of Praise In The Workplace, Investigo, 2017

Reviewed By:

Sabrina McClune, 19.06.24

Sam Kendall, 19.06.24


Originally posted on 11 11 21
Last updated on June 20, 2024

Posted by: Sabrina McClune

Sabrina McClune, an expert researcher with an MA in Digital Marketing, was a finalist in the Women In Tech Awards 2022. She excels in conducting and compiling research for B2B tech companies. Sabrina enjoys reading fantasy novels and collecting special edition books.

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