In my last blog I discussed the first 4 steps to successfully implementing technological change in your business. In this next instalment I want to focus on the steps that relate directly to your team and your customers. So, what are the personal and individual aspects required for business successful transformation?
1. Foster a safe environment
This is all very easy to say, however, some teams won’t feel comfortable pushing boundaries and innovating unless a safe environment is created. This is the responsibility of the C-suite who have to be 100% on board with the technological change and the manner in which it will be achieved. Full trust in the teams, their skills, understanding and ownership is imperative for change to stick. In fact, the right environment provides even more control and comfort for business leaders as any wrong decision will only lead to a couple of weeks of travel in the wrong direction. This will also open up many more ideas and far more diverse thinking from a wider base of employees.
2. Encourage diversity and new skills
All the above requires specific skills which may need to be brought into the company to further diversify the thinking across all levels of the company’s wider employee base and challenge the status quo. Design lead thinking, the production of clickable prototypes and proof of concepts require technical skills more akin to a tech start-up than a leasing company. Existing team members can all be trained on the new approaches to supplement their deep business knowledge. The more diverse and inclusive the environment is the better the business outcomes will be.
Delivery also needs to be agile in nature rather than the older waterfall approach to project management. While this is entirely relevant for the bidding, winning and implementation of a powerplant, for example, it is extremely outdated in bringing new technologies and digital solutions to market effectively.
3. Maintaining a customer-centric intention
At the end of the day, the purpose of adopting new technology must revolve around a customer need. If the solution does not help our customer or partners get what they need to get done more quickly, efficiently or effectively, it will be nothing other than technology for the sake of technology. By keeping the customer at the centre of all our solutions, the associated business success takes care of itself.
It’s also important to make sure that new digital channels do not become completely dehumanised. Although the process should allow our customers and partners to fully interact with us autonomously, our customer service and sales teams should always be available at the appropriate times to guide and support. The same goes for any handoffs between the existing way of transacting business and the new digital one. The overall offering must be omni-channel and can be picked up, handed off or started however and whenever the customer requires.
By focusing on new ways of working, Siemens Financial Services (SFS) aims to widen its appeal and access to its services to new customers, as well as to improve customer satisfaction within its current base. At SFS, we have seen that technological change has the potential to improve internal efficiency, attract new business and promote growth by providing something different and achieve better margins for the same sales overhead. By involving our customers and partners in the process of change and taking on board their feedback and opinions, we’ve also built stronger relationships with them.
Ajay Patel - Head of customer innovation group - UK, Nordics & Poland
As the Head of Transformation and Digitalisation, at Siemens Financial Services I lead global and diverse teams to deliver business solutions right across the value chain from deal origination to booking. With international experience gained across 3 countries in Europe and South East Asia, I have developed an understanding for different perspectives and cultures that has taught me something can be learned from everyone I meet and work with.
I value maintaining a healthy body and mind and believe failure is a necessary step in creating growth.