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Start-up Aims to Engage Employees in Change

The changing face of change is explored, with start-ups in the area charting interesting and new directions.

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It’s widely accepted that adaptability is something that is required more than ever before. With the world changing at an increasing pace, it’s inevitable that your organization will need to become adept at adapting to this change.

Whilst that is largely accepted, change is still something that most organizations struggle enormously with. The success rate for change initiatives hovers around the 20-30% mark, and the lifecycle of most big firms seems to get shorter and shorter.

This has led many of the big names to offer their own prognoses on how we can become better at change. For instance, a study by Booz&Co suggested that culture was key, and organizations should involve employees in the process (more on that later), and not overwhelm them with too much change in one go.

Culture also emerged as key in a recent McKinsey exploration of change, alongside excellent communication. One interesting aspect of the study was however that employees generally felt much less involved in the process than leaders thought they were.

A New Approach to Change

Despite this help and support from the big name consultancy companies, the success rate doesn’t appear to be changing a great deal. I’ve written previously about Pinipa, who aim to solve the engagement process by crowdsourcing the change strategy via the workforce itself.

It’s a notable ambition, but one that comes up against the challenge outlined by a recent INSEAD led study that highlighted how just 10% of crowdsourcing projects elicit even one suggestion per day.

The authors highlighted how the "build it and they will come" trap is one that many managers fall into when soliciting input from the crowd, and it’s one that makes crowdsourcing change strategy challenging.

Making Change More Engaging

Such challenges have led Swedish based startup Challengera to take an altogether different approach.  They’re focusing less on the change strategy itself and more on the actual implementation side of things.

They’re taking lessons from social networks to try and make change something that engages employees.  They provide organizations with a social platform that uses techniques such as gamification to encourage employees to do what they need to do to change.

It involves a series of challenges that provoke and cajole a change in behavior.  They use some of the science of social and mobile data to provide these prompts at the right time, much as the Telefonica study I mentioned recently did.

Challengera CEO Arnaud Henneville reveals that the approach has already achieved good successes in the workplace, with companies such as GE delivering successful change efforts via the platform.

“There is a lot of talk about ‘the future of work’. In this future, new models of organisations have emerged. In this new reality, employees have a voice, they feel passionate about the work they do. In this future, the execution of the internal business initiatives is accelerated by the employees themselves – through the network,” he says.

Just as no change initiative is guaranteed to succeed, there is no guarantee that any of these new approaches to change will improve the odds.  It is heartening to see some innovation in the process however, and it will be a fascinating area to follow in the coming years.

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Topics:
start-up ,change management ,employee engagement

Published at DZone with permission of Adi Gaskell. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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