Digital transformations. The mere thought of them can breed palpitations in even the most stalwart oil and energy company leaders.
It’s no surprise, really. Change never comes without its challenges, and digital change always comes with growing pains. Yet the perks of moving toward a digitally focused workforce with correlating forward-driven protocols far outweigh the temporary downsides.
Besides, transforming isn’t a nice-to-do elective; it’s need-to-do directive.
With Houston-area unemployment rates hovering around 3 percent as of mid-2018, professionals entering the industry expect highly advanced workplaces. Companies that aren’t passionately embracing digitization are apt to lose top candidates who are wooed by more innovative, modern competitors.
Skirting digital transformation roadblocks
Typically, executives who bemoan digital transformations forget that it’s a process, not a mythical beast. In other words, it’s hardly insurmountable. When considered a step at a time, the mission of digitizing procedures becomes less paralyzing and easier to navigate.
Breaking down the process into digestible goals and objectives, outlined in a strategic planning chart, creates an immediate sense of perspective and scope. Not only does the chart provide a place for deadlines, but it also helps the organization see where sprints are most needed. Plus, it provides a solid starting point for discussing outcomes such as improved conversion rates and stronger profit margins.
Bechtel has seen the value of a widespread digital transformation program. Its suite of software tools remove restraints from employees, offering real-time access to materials. By implementing digitized tools on multiple global job sites, Bechtel removed barriers for the company’s foremen, teams, and other employees. Doing so caused a seismic, positive cultural shift
Like Bechtel, Houston’s KBR has evolved via its own digital transformation. Specifically, the creation of its unique KBR SmartSPEND Base helps clients customize operations and ultimately drive down margins. Additionally, the company has utilized its predetermined design and execution philosophies to generate maximum capital efficiency.
Preparing for a digital transformation
Unless they want to give disruptors an opening to undermine their bases or court their superstars, companies have to start the digital discussion. Here are four ways to push toward the transformation.
1. Figure out the desired end result.
Objectively map out the challenges expected during a digital transformation. Be completely open about the path to overcoming those hurdles. Then, share the results with others who can help flesh out details. Although changes are inevitable along the way, that initial plan will help keep the team on course toward desired results.
2. Allow teams to treat their departments as ‘mini-organizations.’
The team(s) will play a huge function in strengthening the workplace ecosystem. Give leaders the directive to become adaptive throughout the transformation process. Encourage them to think critically about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
3. Embrace diversity of thought.
Most workplaces are a melting pot of people who come to problems from different directions. Stay open and listen to everyone’s opinions, experiences, and solutions; they may help generate results faster than anticipated.
4. Gain buy-in across the board.
Work on getting reticent employees’ buy-in from the get-go by explaining the importance of digital transformation through a goal-oriented story. Afterward, check in with team members regularly to gauge the office pulse. Invest time in overseeing and participating in the process to develop empathy and understanding.
All major transitions involve some complexities. But digitization doesn’t have to become a stress inducer. Reframe the process as an evolutionary metamorphosis instead of a miserable must-do. At the end, the company will be in an enviable position.
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