The leader’s voice #5

Transformation challenges

Companies will have many challenges to face in the coming years. During a client audit conducted across several companies, we asked about those challenges. Here are some of the responses :

  • Continuing our transformation : Transformation is continuous. We have to consolidate those elements that are already in place and working well, but also ask ourselves which elements aren’t working so well, and why. Learning can help us better prepare the next stage, adapt and continue to move forward.
  • Integrating digital : Like many companies, we have strategic ambitions related to digital, such as integrating artificial intelligence (AI). It's a big leap, very different from anything we might have done up until now! Before, we focused more on the products and the type of services we could offer our clients, but AI changes the very nature of the work. Still, we know that everything doesn’t have to go digital, and our aim is to leave the simpler tasks to AI so as to enhance the value of the work done by our teams.
  • Establishing a culture of innovation : If we don't want to be devoured by the competition, we have to innovate - not just to be different, but also to better meet our customers’ needs. A changing world creates a context that forces us to adapt, evolve and innovate, which is a good thing, because innovation allows today's problems to become tomorrow's solutions, even if we can't yet see it. 
  • Increasing agility : Being agile in business isn’t always easy. We are often agile in bits and pieces, because we aren’t yet ready to change everything. It’s best to take it one step at a time. It’s not easy to get multidisciplinary teams to work collaboratively when the company is structured into silos...
  • Addressing the labour shortage : The shortage of skilled labour is a very real problem. In the past, good candidates sometimes applied before job offers were even posted. These days, we make offers to people who may well turn them down, which never used to happen. The market is so aggressive that companies are outbidding each other. This is really an emerging issue, and we now have to develop a recruitment strategy.
  • Developing team skills : We have to develop our employees’ skills, yet no one really knows what employees will be doing in five years. That's why in addition to their technical skills, we need to develop their ability to learn and to be flexible. Given the speed at which software is evolving, it is more important for employees to develop skills in analysis, methodology, approach and strategy.
  • Corporate succession : We have to learn how to get multiple generations, and even multiple philosophies, to work side by side within a company. Preparing the transition to the next generation is a challenge that we need to meet while continuing to operate. Young people want to innovate, sometimes too quickly, while older employees want to build on what they’ve learned, and don’t want to see the culture they’ve created disappear.

Transformation entails bringing new blood into the company, and that doesn't always work well.  It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between resistance to change and a lack of cultural fit.

Paula Alvarez

Consultant
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