Enabling Cultural Change in Organizations

July 20, 2018

New ideas and technological advances are two key methods leading to culture change in an organization. Graham Francis reports.

Processes and routines are two things that could be considered essential within the workplace. They are necessary tools to keep workflow going, businesses progressing, and employees focused on a day-to-day basis. But do they enable change?

As important as it is to have recurring methods in place, the introduction of new systems and procedures can prove vital to the transformation towards a more productive working environment. Successful adoption often requires a change in organizational behaviour – some might even say culture. 

Businesses need to adjust to open, forward-thinking

Heavily-regulated industries are naturally highly risk averse. This can result in closed thinking and a reluctance to embrace and try new practices that could deliver a more open collaborative way of working. Heavily regulated industries can lack the awareness of what they can achieve through adapting and adopting new technologies. Engaging with younger, or younger-minded employees across the business can be a great way to bring to life what can be achieved and encourage others in organizations feel less threatened by change. The primary focus should be quick wins achieved by identifying inefficient processes and simplifying these by adopting new technologies. Choosing the right technology, will open up the organization leading to greater flexibility, simplifying the role of the user, rather than complicate the process, which in turn will lead to greater levels of adoption.

Coaching and shaping

Coaching and change management are crucial processes which can often be overlooked. Such a program brings greater ownership, leading to higher level of skills and knowledge delivering a productive long-term positive impact on the business.

Enabling users to learn at their own speed and tailoring learning to their own roles and needs is essential. Whilst any new solution will have a number of new features, it’s important that users feel comfortable with the basic, essential functions that support their roles and that these are well understood. Supporting business transformation with eLearning tools enables users to ‘go at their own pace’ and to self-select elements of training relevant to their roles. Users can better familiarize themselves by engaging with simulated tasks, video content and short self-assessment tools. Easy access to specialists within the organization and executive sponsorship is also essential. Without C-suite sponsorship and engagement, there’s always a risk that user adoption will suffer.

Senior stakeholders across each of the regulatory, marketing, product, quality, IT, manufacturing, and supply chain need to be part of the change management team. Insight into how processes are expected to improve will help what may have been previously isolated teams to collaborate and seek new more effective ways of working

What is active prototyping, and what impact does it have on businesses?

As a very important stage in the positioning of a new solution, active prototyping allows key users and stakeholders to experience first-hand how the solution will work in practise ahead of deployment. This phase allows configurable aspects of the solution to be revised. This includes the order in which information is captured and entered into the system, routes taken for the review and approval of content, permissions granted to each type of user and the types of reports generated.

By doing this, users will be able to visualize the solution and helped to determine whether what was specified actually meets their requirements. Active prototyping can also form part of validation testing by enabling users to execute a number of real-life scenarios and verify that the system actually meets specified criteria.

Embracing the future

Workplace culture plays a crucial role in changing the dynamic of any organization. An organization’s culture must develop and adapt to change what is considered the ‘modern’ working ways of a business. New ideas and technological advances are two key methods, which will lead to culture change. These are fundamental in both the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, which will benefit greatly in the long-run from people and groups within an organization not afraid to make changes.

Graham Francis is Product Marketing Manager at Kallik.