Mind the (Digital) Gap!

The recent crisis saw many workers obliged to change to digital working methods from one day to the next with very little time for preparation – in fact in many cases there was a scramble to even acquire the necessary hardware before shops were closed down for several weeks. Employees were literally thrown into a major change. In many cases, companies had probably previously rejected/postponed such changes on several occasions with the reasoning that the company’s processes and staff were not yet ready for such drastic change! All change specialists know that successful change needs to be well-prepared, so how could it be possible to achieve so much at such short notice? One answer is that under a crisis situation most people function in a sort of overdrive modus and rise to the moment, coping with challenges in the face of which they would normally have paled. Here the word to note is “coped”; they adapted, they fitted in, they showed great flexibility, but that does not necessarily mean that the outcome remains suitable as a long-term organisational structure.