In the latest episode of Programmable World, Dan Ilett and Matt Sims – the Managing Partner at Hatch, a unique design and transformation consultancy – explore the concept of co-creation for successful business transformations. More specifically, they discuss how involving a range of voices can lead to more effective and sustainable change strategies.
Change is an inevitable part of life, yet people tend to be averse to it. This natural resistance often poses challenges for business transformations.
Traditionally businesses take the top-down approach to change, where a select few make decisions without fully understanding the needs and desires of all employees, contributing to reluctance and discontent. Hatch is changing that.
You can read more about Hatch’s approach to change in the newly released, Inclusive Change Index 2023.
Inclusive Change Yields Better Results
Matt shares that when organisations introduce change, it’s crucial to ensure that employees aren’t just presented with new directives but are actively included in the process of defining and shaping those changes.
By involving individuals at various levels of the organisation, a broader range of perspectives and ideas are brought to the table. This inclusive approach leads to better decision making as it takes into account the diverse needs, aspirations, and concerns of the workforce – Matt suggests that you’ve then got “a bigger bunch of advocates, [and a] bunch of supporters thrown forward” to support its implementation.
Building Trust, Ownership and Accountability
In the episode, Matt also discusses his first-hand experience of fostering a sense of trust and ownership within an organisation by involving employees in change.
He tells Dan that over-reliance on external consultants or third parties can breed mistrust and a lack of accountability due to a “lack of coherence and a lack of joint ownership”, whereas co-creation empowers employees to take ownership of the change process.
Matt believes that a “let’s work through it together” approach allows individuals to actively contribute to shaping the future of their organisation and builds a “swell of momentum that drives things forward”. In turn, this sense of ownership leads to higher levels of engagement and commitment, resulting in smoother implementation and increased employee satisfaction.
Avoiding “Change Fatigue”
One common pitfall during transformation is “change fatigue.” This occurs when employees feel overwhelmed and disengaged due to repeated and poorly managed changes.
By adopting a co-creation approach, organisations can mitigate change fatigue. When employees are involved from the start, their concerns are acknowledged, and their perspectives are valued. This inclusive approach allows for a smoother transition and fosters a culture of adaptability and resilience which can transition an organisation into a “change hungry” state where they actively embrace change.
To hear the full conversation, you can listen to the episode here.
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