Adapting OCM for an Increasingly Digital World: The Solution

Steve MacGill and Alan Walker

· Transformation,Change Management

Part 3 of a conversation with Steve MacGill and Alan Walker on OCM and the Digital World

In [Part 1] we argued that OCM must simultaneously:

  • Support the process humans go through in adapting to change and,
  • Accelerate their adoption of change to keep up with the increasing speed of Digital transformation

In [Part 2] we positioned five human challenges to be overcome, and offered our perspectives on the first two.

This final part covers the remaining three challenges, summarizing how they are typically dealt with today, and how these approaches need to change in a faster-moving world.

3)  Preference to learn by doing

Challenge: Employees want training that understands they learn by doing. They need to experiment and participate in tomorrow, today. Like expectations, the acquisition of skills is critical to moving forward.



  • Project specific training with heavy emphasis on prelaunch “live training”.
  • Post launch support is seen as an expense to be managed until a majority of employees are competent in the new environment.
  • Post launch is often staffed entirely with “live” support, limiting the time it can remain in place.
  • Allowing employees to test driving the new environment (including processes) is not often a component of training.


  • “Live training” will be minimalist in comparison to today. Its primary goal will be to prepare users with the basics to operate in the new environment on Day 1, and to know where to go when they have questions.
  • “Hands On- Supported” experimentation will be a part of the training process… even before launch.
  • Post launch training will be seen as the primary training vehicle and will include access to expert advice (much of it automated) for an extended period after launch.

 4)  Wish to understand the bigger picture

Challenge: While projects often need to be “single threaded” during design and development, they must be connected for the employees that will be using their outputs. Failure to “connect the dots” for the user will result in significantly greater time for comprehension.



  • Projects that are dependent and connected from the users’ perspective are often communicated and rolled out without “connecting the dots” for employees.


  • In order to increase an employee’s ability to absorb increased amounts of change, it will be necessary to not only link the change to the overall framework, but also to communicate multiple projects with one voice and one plan.

 5)  Aspiration to be part of something that matters

Challenge: Employeeswant to have input, have their voices heard, and understand the why of where the organization is headed. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. This provides the energy and the inspiration needed to deal with the gaps in information and the lack of control that comes with change.



  • Communication is often focused on a specific project.


  • Leaders and managers are equipped and held accountable to communicate the “Why”.
  • New processes are created to engage the employees in defining and responding to the future needs and wants of customers.

 For those of you old enough to remember the Wizard of Oz, you’ll remember one of the final scenes where the Good Witch tells Dorothy that she has had the answer all along. We think that OCM and Digital transformation are much the same. We’ve known many of these answers all along. Many are OCM best practices – but in an increasingly Digital world they now become table stakes.

Your Turn ........ Agree? Disagree? Its your turn.We’d like to hear from you!

Originally published July 2, 2018.