I'm very happy to share this weeks article - a guest post written by Emily from one of our EMEA Partners Netpremacy. I invited her to share her insights and best practices around the correlation between G Suite deployments and cultural transformation.
Over to you Emily!
You’ll have to forgive the lack of a catchy title for this blog...but I promise the message is thought-provoking! The inspiration for this came from a meeting we recently conducted at Google, which ran through the Change Management piece for G Suite deployments.
When companies “go Google”, the end-user’s experience must be supported fully - by utilising the Google change management methodology. However, it’s crucial to realise that deploying G Suite often underpins a whole cultural transformation. In this most recent meeting, the physical driver for the company’s appetite to go Google was hard to pin down. Clarifying this should be the first step in a Google deployment. It could be the catalyst for new ways of working, or perhaps sitting under an overarching brand of digital transformation. This post explores the significance of both, and how to deploy G Suite accordingly.
If you’re a customer, partner or anybody in the early planning stages of a Google deployment, make sure you clearly pinpoint the main drivers for the project.
The prevalence of cultural transformation
"Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision and change. A company that stands still will soon be forgotten.” - Richard Branson
Cultural transformation. It’s a phrase that we’re hearing about more and more - but why is it coming of age? Globalisation has a huge part to play. This, teamed with the lightning-fast growth of technology in the digital age, means that we’re having to change the way we do things. Well, we should be. Adapting to this changing world should be at the forefront of every leader’s mind. Consequently, the technology available to employees needs to reflect this trend; a well-oiled organisation should begin from employees having the cutting-edge tools they need to work flexibly - along with a proper change management strategy so that they’re used to their full potential. With the growth of cloud computing, we are no longer living in a world where user data is tied to one place - the flexibility to work from anywhere on any device is built in to G Suite’s mantra.
G Suite: just a change of technology?
I mentioned at the beginning that it’s imperative for businesses to recognise their own individual drivers for going Google. Once these have been defined, it is critical that these are communicated out to the rest of the business. Employees need to have full understanding that the implementation of G Suite is not just a switch in the tools they use. They also won’t be particularly interested in it being a cost-saving exercise, if that was an initial trigger. They will care about keeping up with the times, and having access to the most efficient and collaborative tools to allow them to do their job effectively. It’s important that they are aware that the company is investing in them. The need for them to fully comprehend that the project is in line with a new ways of working initiative is paramount.
How should a G Suite deployment be effectively positioned within the business?
So we’ve discussed the importance of G Suite underpinning an overarching business initiative, and working towards a cultural transformation. It could be the underlay for a “workplace refresh”, or new ways of working scheme. Just alluding to the fact that they are new business tools will not generate the buy-in needed for a successful project. Are there any other projects running that G Suite can be linked with? Perhaps conveyed as a stepping stone to achieve a more agile environment? The alignment of the deployment with business growth and development should be shared, along with the opportunities that will open up to employees as a result. If this isn’t effectively relayed, users may misunderstand it to be a cost-effective solution, or simply an inconvenience to migrate to a new system.
The significance of a robust communications plan for this business change piece should be at the forefront of the project. Linking all business communications with this overall message will ensure for full user acceptance, as it ties in with company growth. Make sure to involve an internal executive sponsor for the project in your communications - somebody well-known and influential, ideally from the business to reiterate it not being an IT project, but a cultural transformation piece. The idea of a go-live day to signify a tangible start in these new ways of working should also be exploited (see more about the importance of go-live days here). Creating an elevator pitch and aligning all communications with this is ideal, remembering to continuously highlight the overarching idea of business transformation. For the most part of users, it should be far removed from an IT venture, and as closely aligned with cultural change as possible. To encourage their endorsement of the project, ensure to investigate specific use cases for how employees’ work will improve with flexibility and agility, and share these. Give them a buy-in.
Ensuring continued innovation...
Post deployment, it’s imperative to keep the stream of communications going. Hints and tips for the new system are great - but how can they sit in line with the business train of thought on transformation? There will always be success stories you can share that prove how the move to G Suite has had positive effects. Cement in people’s minds that the objectives set out for new ways of working have been achieved, and how. This continues the positivity around the transition to G Suite once they are over the Change Curve (there’s a great article on personal transition with the Change Curve here). Continued communications to share these messages are key to ongoing success. Secondly, are Google Guides being leveraged to collect successes and continue innovation with G Suite? Setting up a quarterly session for them to come together would work well. Think about getting them involved with Transformation Labs - this is a fantastic way to introduce a framework for continued innovation. Google itself is a fantastic example of this culture - have a look at this article on the top tips for creating and maintaining this environment.
I hope my observations and tips have inspired you to consider how G Suite should trigger cultural transformation within businesses - and how this should be set apart from “just another IT project”. To ensure this theme of transformation, be mindful of using exec sponsorship from outside of IT. This, teamed with an overarching brand of cultural transformation and new ways of working (that the Google project can either lead or be linked to), should set the project apart from others, and begin to inspire innovation. I’d be curious to hear about how you have positioned ‘going Google’ projects in your organisations and whether you referred to broader context of cultural transformation - please feel free to comment below.