An Ecosystem of Changemakers
Driving systemic change depends on collaboration and inclusion, both within and outside the business: employees, partners, customers, and communities at local, national, and global levels. More specifically, it relies on an ecosystem of change-makers—all those who can turn ideas into reality, whether through transformational change or contribution to value delivery.
Changemakers rely on key capabilities to succeed:
- New ways of working, including agile, waterfall, and hybrid methodologies, and digital project management approaches such as problem-solving tools, AI-driven tools, and microlearning apps
- Power skills, such as collaborative leadership, innovative mindset, empathy for the voice of the customer, empathy for the voice of the employee, and the ability to build trusting relationships
- Business acumen, encompassing a well-rounded set of capabilities that enables people to understand not only their own roles, but how their work relates to business strategy and to other parts of the business
First, however, change-makers must have the means to acquire these capabilities. Continuous learning is the only way to thrive in today’s disruption-driven environment. Some of that can come through virtual education, which, especially since the pandemic began, is seemingly everywhere. But organizations that raise the bar by using AI to facilitate continuous, agile, and innovative learning—collaborative human-machine learning—are the ones that excel at driving change. Or, as a 2020 MIT Sloan Management Review report put it: “They don’t just use AI; they learn with AI.”22
It doesn’t matter what sector an organization is in, where it’s located, or even what is driving its strategic mission. It must be ready to adapt to whatever megatrend comes its way. And this is where the ecosystem of employees, partners, customers, and stakeholders committed to change truly proves its value.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was climate action or the diversity and inclusion agenda,” Coca-Cola HBC’s Dickstein said. “If you want change that is in itself sustainable, you need to do that together with the communities.”
22. “Expanding AI’s Impact with Organizational Learning,” MIT Sloan Management Review, October 19, 2020.