Technological innovation is accelerating far greater than it ever has before and the culture of work has scant resemblance to what it was a short time ago. Forget what you learned in business school or even on the job just five years ago, the new workforce needs a set of new skills that just aren’t being taught or passed on correctly in the workplace to deal with technological change.
Where companies should be collaborating with older, more seasoned and experienced workers; they are frustrated by having to teach them new skills. This mish-mash of generations in the workplace is not being harnessed for productivity, leadership, and joint goals, but battle lines are being drawn as workers take care of themselves and their close associates, to the exclusion of others.
Most marketers and those is marketing leadership will resist these changes and manifest the fears that are common when rapid change takes place. Outright opposition and skepticism mixed with anxiety and stress will propel many out of organizations or produce lackluster performance or failures with most new and expensive technological programs. The cost of these IT failures, loss of workforce productivity, costs to retrain replaced workers and the overall apathy and lack of desire by the workforce to do much more than the minimum effort will sink many companies or stall the growth of many more.
What should your plan be? First, let me start by saying that I am personally optimistic about 2014 and beyond. I believe, and my vision is, that we can change the course we are now on and grow beyond our wildest imaginings. The catch is that there will need to be massive effort expended by marketing leadership to make it work. The effort will need to be collaborative and genuine, brought about in a culture of trust.
It will take some time here to convey all that needs to occur but I offer this starter path:
Marketing leadership in companies should place change and transition management for technology integration projects in their budgets as a separate line item this year. If budget is already allocated to projects alone without this component and/or is part of the larger human resource/organizational development component without this distinction it should be carved out and labeled as such. Fight the fight now, backed up by consistent and reliable data on the efficacy of these allocations and their ROI (by the way, we can provide the data) to get budget in place to move these initiatives along.
Marketing leadership, start the New Year out right by thinking of change and transition management first, and remain #TopRight for 2014.