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How can we reassure others to accept changes with open arms?

Agile transformation in a company as big as Home Credit Indonesia did not happen in one day. From establishing the first agile team in 2017 to kicking off streams in 2020, there were a lot of obstacles that we faced. One of these obstacles during the initial stages of transformation is convincing everyone in the company to embrace this change. 

This difficulty is felt especially when spearheading a transformation for a whole organization. As the initiator, there were 6 steps that I took to ensure the acceptance of this change in Home Credit Indonesia.

Step 1: Get buy-in from the CEO with the CIO's influence

To initiate such a change, the first person you need to convince is, of course, the top decision-maker of a company, The CEO. It took us 2 years until the CEO bought into the idea of scaling up the Agility. After 2 years of implementation by the CIO in the IT Function, CEO already saw the benefits of it and we should improve the collaboration across the organization and work closely together, IT plus all relevant functions. We discussed how the end state will look like, preparations and roadmap towards that.

Step 2: Get a group of Champions

To get a whole company on board with a change, we need to convince a whole lot of people. Doing this alone is near impossible, this is why we made a team called Agile Champions. Who are they?

They are individuals from different functions and Agile coaches in the organization who believes in Agile values and principles. They may or may not be in any Agile teams, all they need is a passion to help with the Agile transformation in the company.

Step 3: Involve the right mentor!

Sometimes you want to challenge the status quo and you know the solution but don’t have the confidence to start. Hence bring in someone who is already known to be an expert in this area that will help you and others gain confidence.

Always remember, the one you are changing is your company, it is your journey, and you need to be the one who leads it. Do not ask someone to design it for you!

Step 4: Invite the Top-Dogs to discussions

When discussing the direction of change, it is important to keep those on top in the loop. At the end of the day, they are the decision-makers and their influence are sorely needed to get everyone on board. Bring the idea with them and ask for their feedback to that.

Step 5: Collaboration is key!

Middle management is a critical role in a successful transformation. Introduce them to the mindset, what will change, and how it will impact them simply and logically. Once they’re on board, the transformation will happen more seamlessly and effectively.

Step 6: Communicate, train, talk and repeat.

When the change is first implemented, there will be a lot of people who are confused with the way things work. Having an ‘open session’ with employees for them to come, ask and discuss with champions is one of the most effective ways to help educate the people in the company of what this change entails. You can open training sessions, communication channels, and publish newsletters to increase awareness. As the initiator, you need to be available to discuss and answer those who are curious or maybe those who are afraid to change.

These are the 6 steps that I took in implementing a company-wide change. In conclusion, be genuine and honest with your mission – why this transformation is needed for us and the company. Build a team and support system for you to help make the change happen. Try different approaches and channels to connect with everyone in the company. If someone is quiet in the training/discussion session, ask their opinion and listen to them. Once everyone is on board, even the biggest changes will happen swimmingly. It will be a journey to see the impact of changes. Inclusion is the key as well as patience to see the big impact of the changes.

Afifi Rahmah Muluk
Head of Digital Transformation
Connect with her by clicking here!