How improving Data Literacy can support Mid-Sized Enterprises grow through Change Management
It is widely recognised that data literacy and change management go hand in hand for driving successful changes and growth within a business.
However, for a Mid-sized enterprise change management and data literacy can often be more challenging than within a large corporate, this is due to a number of factors:
1. Limited resources:
Smaller businesses often have limited financial and human resources compared to larger organisations. Therefore implementing change programs requires investments in time, money, and personnel, which can strain the resources of the business. They may lack the necessary funds to train employees, hire change management experts, or invest in new technologies or systems.
2. Lack of expertise:
Businesses with smaller workforces, tend to have employees wearing multiple hats and having diverse responsibilities. They may not have dedicated change management or data specialists or experienced professionals who can effectively plan, communicate, and execute change initiatives. This lack of expertise can make it challenging to navigate the complexities of change and properly manage the process.
3. Resistance to change:
Employees in smaller businesses often have close-knit relationships and may be resistant to changes that disrupt familiar routines or work processes. There may be a tendency to try and involve everyone, which can slow up the change process, and with many inputs can create uncertainty about the outcomes of the change. Overcoming resistance to change can be particularly challenging in smaller businesses where interpersonal dynamics and personal relationships play a significant role.
4. Communication and coordination challenges:
In smaller businesses, communication channels are often informal and direct, which can hinder effective change management. Lack of formal communication structures, established processes for disseminating information, or differing views on what information is showing, can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and resistance to change. Additionally, coordinating change across various functions or departments can be more challenging due to limited resources and overlapping roles.
5. Lack of strategic planning:
Mid-sized enterprises may focus more on day-to-day operations and immediate concerns, leaving less time for strategic planning and change management. They may lack a formalised approach to assessing the need for change, setting clear goals, reviewing and understanding the data, and developing a well-defined plan for implementing and monitoring the change process. Without a strategic framework, change initiatives may be ad hoc and lack direction.
6. Risk aversion:
Smaller business owners and managers often have a strong sense of responsibility for the success and stability of their businesses. This risk aversion can lead to a reluctance to embrace change, especially if it involves significant uncertainties or potential disruptions. The fear of failure or negative impacts on the business can inhibit the willingness to initiate and manage change effectively.
So what can a business do to improve its change management capabilities?
Well, good news is that there is much that can be done, but it's not going to happen overnight.
People need to know why change is happening and more importantly, what’s in it for them.
The more likely a change will be accepted within a business is by showcasing where it’s been really effective, providing the results and the impact that has been made and by taking the business on the journey.
For future planning help the business understand why the strategy is being put in place and be really transparent as to the data to support that decision. But also highlight the benefits to individuals, how it's going to save time or drive more opportunity to help overcome and overwhelm and resistance to the change.
To support the change, data is incredibly useful at all stages of the journey, to risk access and plan more effectively. However, this requires a business to have the data accessible and useable with the right skills to be able to plan effectively.
By generally improving the data literacy within a business, this can help to improve the desire and implementation of change due to the following:
As there is such a link between change management and data literacy, one of the first steps we would recommend is to review and address any gaps in data literacy amongst your teams.
To foster improved data literacy, we recommend a three-prong approach, addressing data strategy, data culture and data skills.
This approach supports the business to:
Develop a clear company-wide data strategy
Encourage a data-driven culture where all staff are inquisitive about data and want to use it to drive ideas, growth and test and learn
Improve data skills, so everyone has the basic skills to read, interpret and story-tell with data.
It is essential to ensure that employees understand the relevance and value of data in supporting change management efforts and how to effectively use data to drive decision-making and positive organisational transformation.
MoJo can support businesses in developing their data literacy by providing training and resources to employees, encouraging a data-driven culture, and recommending tools and technologies that facilitate data collection, analysis, and visualisation.
If you think we could help you, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you.