Driving change - by winning hearts and minds

JUBmagnetby Ben Dowd – Director of Business at O2

Change is inevitable. In today’s business world it often carries negative connotations, but more often than not, it’s an opportunity to take your organisation and people into exciting new territories. Positioned in the right way, It’s a chance to rethink, start afresh and make sure that everyone in the business is on the same page.

We recently invited Greg Dyke, former Director General of the BBC and a prominent figure in the media business of the last 30 years, to speak at one of our customer events. He had some very interesting things to say about leading an organisation through change. And, as you might expect of a seasoned entertainment producer and media mogul, he put the emphasis firmly on being creative in how you capture the emotions and imagination of everyone involved. Here's some of his advice:

Get everyone on board

People respond better when there’s a clear idea or goal – if they know what to expect and what’s expected of them, they’ll be more likely to commit to new ways of working. At O2, we’ve undergone some big changes ourselves – we’ve gone from being a mobile operator to providing a full range of communications solutions for businesses. And like Greg, we found that gaining the support of our people was essential to producing effective and lasting change.

Tell your story

Share the story of your organisation with your people. Making sure that people know how the business started, what it stands for and how far it has come.  It can motivate and inspire them and remind them why they joined the business in the first place.  For example, during his early days as Director General of the BBC, Greg Dyke commissioned a series of videos that told real stories from the front line of broadcasting and production. They helped to remind people why they joined the BBC and fostered a new sense of pride. Employee surveys showed that the number of people who felt valued within the business rose from 28% to 58% in two years.

Make the change happen

Positive change is driven by innovation, and if it comes from inside it’s even more powerful. Being proactive and making the changes on your terms is much better than being forced to change when you aren’t ready. So using change in a proactive and positive way is good for business.

At O2 we are on a path of helping businesses to transform themselves.  We'll help you prepare for new challenges – like the increase in mobile workers and the move to virtualised services. We'll also help you develop a clearer communications strategy to increase productivity.