Culture-driven Change Management in a Digital World | Teleperformance
Culture-driven Change Management in a Digital World

Change, while many of us find it uncomfortable, is certainly inevitable. As this wise quote attributed to American actor Will Rogers notes, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

Several of the world’s top businesses have lost their former glory for being unable to adapt to rapid changes in technologies and customer demand for new experiences. For example, we see the music record industry is struggling to stay relevant in the new digital market. Analysts tell us that it was not streaming music that killed the record production business, but it was the industry’s failure to anticipate how much people valued a personalized music experience that they had control over.

Yet people continue to resist change and find it hard to accept. What we find is that people generally react to change either with feelings of anxiety or excitement.

Anxiety comes from people’s fear of the unknown. People resist change and hesitate to engage change because it is unpredictable, complex, and risky. Resistance to change, however, is not necessarily bad because it shows that people think and process the disruptions brought about by change. What is harmful would be the denial of change.

Change can make people feel insecure and vulnerable. These are rational reactions in moments of uncertainty such as when people see how new technologies begin to augment labor and production. Indeed, one of the many fears we hear from people is the potential massive unemployment to be brought about by the automation of work through Artificial Intelligence (AI).

A recently published study by the MIT Sloan School of Management titled “Toward Understanding the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Labor” reports that “technology improves to make human labor more efficient, but large improvements may yield deleterious effects for employment.”

Doomsayer perspectives hold that AI or bots will result in technological unemployment, where human workers are replaced and displaced. This perspective produces anxiety and tends to overlook an important point: The same digital world that challenges us also provides real opportunities and rewards.

On the other hand, with an optimist perspective, we are able to frame reality with a mindset empowered to cultivate excitement instead of anxiety and create a culture of eager lifelong learners who will remain curious and ready to take on new challenges.

As People Managers, we create opportunities to enable culture-driven changethat effectively integrates diverse cultures, encourages continuous learning, and fosters innovative thinking. By placing a premium on people and interactions, rather than on established processes and systems, we will cultivate a growth mindset – one that is responsive and resilient to unforeseen disruptions.

Indeed, our organizations stand to create and gain more meaningful value when leaders and employees co-create and collaborate to develop and grow a vision-driven, people-centered company culture where initiative, openness, creativity, flexibility, optimism, and persistence are encouraged and nurtured, where passion for excellence and commitment to innovation are valued, recognized, and rewarded.

In his recent April 25 interview in BBC World’s Talking Business, Teleperformance Founder, Chairman, and CEO Daniel Julien categorically stated that the next five years will see greater collaboration between humans and AI. Daniel addressed the fear over technological unemployment with TP’s unique concept of AI as assisted intelligence, combining human touch and artificial intelligence.

As the global leader in the customer experience management industry, Teleperformance’s visionary leadership puts in clear context the role of bots in providing hi-tech and cost-efficient solutions, empowering human agents to focus more on high-value workthat addresses the rational, emotional, and assurance needs of customers.

This means that people are given more opportunities to learn and acquire new expertise using creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills which are crucial in the use and implementation of AI-based or AI-assisted tools and processes, and in the creation of innovation.

As change leaders, we must influence our people to cultivate a growth mindset and build a culture that stimulates their own initiative to develop their capability to face changes proactively and positively. We need to keep tapping into the intrinsic motivation of every individual to excel and succeed, so together we can make change work for our mutual benefit.

Beyond anticipating change, we must lead change. By doing this, we wrest our future from the whims of outside forces and empower ourselves to drive our own trajectory towards the targets we have set for ourselves. Today, as has always been the case, the future is in our own hands and in our own mindset.

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