Today’s workplace is changing faster than it ever has before. The advent of artificial intelligence is around every corner, making it both an exciting and stressful time for business leaders. With it, innovation brings promises of a brighter future, but it doesn’t come without risk. Learning innovation management properly is an art that requires tact.
You see, change starts from the ground up. If you cannot get your employees to buy-in to transformational goals and initiatives, your organization may not get to where you want it to be.
Here are five lessons to help you on the journey to creating confident, positive, and optimistic stakeholders with the skills and commitment to ensure new initiatives succeed:
Effective AI Innovation Management
Teams require trust, and that starts with transparency. You have a responsibility to your employees to genuinely speak the truth when proposing organizational change. It’s easy to get worried about the impact a new initiative will have on the opinions of others in your business. Don’t let this stop you from being upfront with them. The worst thing you can do is exclude them from a decision that has the potential to impact their jobs.
Related article: How to Implement Organizational Change Effectively
2. Executive Participation
It’s impossible to win over your employees if you don’t even have buy-in from the executive suite. With innovation management, there can sometimes be a level of reluctance from more-established individuals to jump in with both feet. Change is scary, after all, and it’s likely more than a few top-level executives will be set in their ways. Now more than ever, technology is intertwined with every level of the business. Leadership can no longer delegate changes to the IT department and expect to stay aloof from helping to make it happen themselves. Change management requires getting senior leaders on board early and keeping them visibly involved throughout.
3. Don’t Assume Managers Will Jump on Board
Much like top executives, it’s not safe to assume that managers will just jump on board with your proposed innovation initiative, either. Managers are the link between leadership and employees, a bridge that must be crossed strategically. Research has shown the impact of supervisory support on change outcomes. Chances are, managers may share many of the same fears and speculations of the people that they’re managing. When implementing organizational change, it’s important to make sure managers are put at ease before you start taking any major steps forward.
Related article: How To Create An Agile Business
4. Don’t Wait to Train Employees
Imagine putting together the infrastructure to make your proposed AI changes happen, but not having staff that’s prepared to unlock your organization’s full potential. The truth is that you need to prepare your team to take on new responsibilities as artificial intelligence takes over some of their job duties. Training employees and arming them with new skills needs to start from the onset. This will not only help alleviate some of the fears that come along with such massive change; it will set your company up to be as agile as possible.
5. Leverage Informal Advocates
Social capital can get you really far. Leveraging the advocacy of respected individuals on the team will help get others on board who may have still been on the fence otherwise. You catch more flies with honey, after all. Start by identifying employees who have high informal influence. Communicate to them clearly with easy to absorb facts so that they have talking points when the topic comes up in conversation with others. Invite them to do more cross-functional work so that they have additional opportunities to spread their influence. Never underestimate the benefits of having respected allies.
Related article: How Listening to Employee Opinions Can Strengthen an Organization
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