How to manage change in times of digitalisation

Digitalisation influences the working world today more than ever before. New company structures and services emerge, processes need to be re-thought. Change management plays a decisive role in shaping processes of change.

Implementing change processes in this digital age is especially dependant on the following two factors:

  • A functioning company culture that enables an agile approach on constantly variable change.
  • A strong management level, that lives and drives the concepts of transformation as an example.

Especially management needs to recognise, communicate and set tangible focus on the challenges that occur due to digitalisation. Companies need to become aware that digitalisation is now a normality in company strategy, organisation and culture. Without cultural change there is no digital transformation. And only people, who are concerned with their own thinking patterns and culture, can facilitate others in their behavioural- and thinking patterns, in order to promote successful transformation.

Learning from mistakes

Agile structures do not function automatically; they need to be tried and tested. Several classical hierarchic structured companies do not grant management adequate leeway for such learning processes. Tried-and-tested processes, routines and structures should provide security – yet exactly this is what prevents new ideas to be tested and introduced.

Good communication is the cornerstone

It is obvious that all parties involved in processes of change need to be informed continuously on the progress of their projects, yet they should also bring proposed solutions and be able to give feedback. Participation is not an end in itself: staff members need to understand why and to which degree they are to be involved.

Establishing a foundation of trust

Change requires a basis of trust. When change management functions and when staff members trust their managers, they can attune to regular transformation with an open attitude. Suitable managers are needed to enable this.

Leaders with a role model function

Leading staff members in times of constant change is challenging: Leaders who can always manage, regardless of ever changing strains and uncertainties, are required. They must be able to spark innovation and have the courage to deliberately question rules and practiced procedures. Hence companies should carefully select their managers and continue to train them intensively. Managers should systematically be trained in their change management skills.



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