The great resignation and its impact on organizations continue. As this carries on, the need to explore how it will change the priorities of legal firms and corporate legal departments and how best to mitigate it will be essential for maintaining a competitive edge. The changing landscape for legal professionals and the impact on business and technology innovation should be, if not already, top of mind for any IT leader and technology officer.
Making an organization’s knowledge easily accessible while secure is key to achieving an organization’s goals for advancement. Can putting knowledge at the forefront of an organization create a culture that encourages innovation and collaboration? Do employees understand how vital managing knowledge is and are they ready to support a shift that will include a change in processes?
IT infrastructure and operations and cloud leaders must champion agility and enable secure, scalable, and resilient platforms and workplaces. Organizational progress and prosperity can be achieved by managing knowledge effectively. Driven by a workforce’s combined proficiency and best practices, delivering superior outcomes quickly will enhance services and deliver on customer value
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Making a case for change can be a challenge, especially the type of change that will make a difference to an organization’s bottom line. And the larger the organization, the more complicated change can be—with so many dissimilar teams often working in “vacuums,” processes may not be clearly defined and workflows can vary widely.
There’s no doubt that the dreaded “But this is how we’ve always done things!” phrase is typically screeched as a valid objection to implementing something new. While antiquated processes can be imprecise and sluggish, there will be reasons for pushback, and it’s not difficult to understand why. A Harvard Business Review article looked at reasons why people resist change and uncovered reasons for being against change (loss of control, uncertainty, and concerns about more work). Additionally, learning something new can be perceived as hard, a new process may be deemed as too slow, and seeing the benefits are difficult to visualize.
Technology is great, but not necessarily an all-encompassing savior. Organizations need to take into consideration if and how information might become siloed, if employees lack the experience, and turnover. As companies everywhere continue to recover from the impact of the COVID pandemic, employers are finding themselves in a competitive labor market with a matrix of challenges to tackle—there is a cost to employee turnover that a spreadsheet may not indicate.
To keep good people, organizations need to create a culture that empowers and improves how employees use knowledge, work together intelligently and unlock productivity to drive better business outcomes.
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Transitioning to Empowering People to Use Knowledge
A culture shift means changing things up and for the better. Organizations need to take a mindfulness approach and acknowledge that change isn’t an out-of-the-box solution that will happen instantaneously.
What needs to be considered?
- Making a significant change starts with a positive and supportive buy-in from the top.
- An investment means more than money; it includes dedicating time and resources to making the change effective.
- Do not expect instant results.
- Technology alone is not a solution; dramatic changes to the company’s revenue model and profound changes to company culture are required.
- A positive and effective transformation (and adoption) starts with people.
In creating a culture that is approachable, the implementation of new technology requires patience and needs to demonstrate a considerable improvement in how people work.
Promoting the benefits of change will encourage adoption and acceptance; by doing so, any investment will be rewarded with enhanced productivity. By working more efficiently, collaborating better, and eliminating a sense of disconnect between employees and other aspects of the organization, employees will be happy knowing they are contributing to improved business outcomes.
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How to Shift Into Culture Change
While investments in digital transformation matter, one thing is still certain: humans need convincing as digital transformations are still categorically human transformations. For an organization to change its culture, humans need to change their habits.
How do you change how humans think and look at new, novel ideas?
- Define what the culture should and will look like, clearly and what the behavior in the new culture.
- Ensure communications through teaching and training is clear, communicating required change in values and goals.
- Demonstrate to the executive branch the business benefits of change, and ensure leaders embody the new culture with how they communicate, their actions, and their behaviors.
- Be relentless and ensure employee understanding of the new cultural mindset.
- Consider changes to the physical environment.
- Encourage feedback and involve as many as possible.
- Share the good, the bad, and the ugly, and learn from any missteps.
- Be accountable.
- Be patient. Be persistent.
When cultural changes are promoted and rewarded and take effect, how knowledge is managed by employees will enhance the individual’s performance and convey improved business value to customers and growth.
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The Power of Your Knowledge
Information is power. The failure to acquire knowledge and technical skill and transform them into strength and prosperity are indicators that an organization is failing to be future-ready in a world in constant flux and disruption. As George Bernard Shaw once said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”