Hear insights about today's change climate and how to adapt, from the authors of How to Overcome Challenges in Digital Adoption:
Praise Mok, Deputy Chief Executive of ROHEI Learning & Consulting
Aline-Eustaquio-Low, Head of Training, Coaching and Curriculum Development, ROHEI
Eric Tan, Lead Trainer, SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace, ROHEI
The interview is facilitated by Joel Mok, Senior Consultant, ROHEI
JOEL: Praise, can you share with us why did you choose to produce an E-book on overcoming challenges in digital adoption?
PRAISE: We wrote the book because there are needs. I think the key need that was showing up was: what we were picking up on the ground around adoption. Adoption to the changes that happened because of the transformation in organisations. The key thing impacting this is digitalisation. So organisations are finding it increasingly difficult but necessary to do that. And I think in the recent months that has been very evident. How do you persuade individuals, teams to get on board?
I think one of the things that we wanted to share was what we have discovered around the key need actually, in digital transformation. It is around changing of mindsets. And that is the space that we come from. We are a learning and consulting organisation that specialises in experiential learning. So we wanted to be able to take the best of that and apply that to this particular need, which was: how do you shift mindsets?
Why did you choose to produce an e-book on Overcoming Challenges in Digital Adoption?
- Key to digital transformation is changing mindsets
- Reframe mindsets to be more open
- Confidence in embracing digitalisation
How do you help individuals, organisations, teams to be able to reframe towards being open, being excited, being confident? To be able to embrace digitalisation. That’s I think the thing that we wanted to be able to contribute and we have been engaged with the Singapore government as one of the partners to roll out a programme that actually is around digital confidence.
JOEL: In today’s context: actually we're living in a world that has suddenly been pushed into digital transformation. Whatever some companies were planning to do, now we are suddenly doing it. So these days content like when people are writing books, it gets updated so fast and outdated so fast. How does the e-book that we wrote this time actually make sense to people? Is it still relevant?
PRAISE: I think changing of heartsets and mindsets are going to be more relevant than ever actually. Because right now is the time when we are grappling with a lot of change. So I think organisations can benefit from being able to share. I mean that's what we want to do. We want to be able to share what we have learnt.
How is the e-book relevant to the audience today?
- Acceleration of plans to adopt technology
- Future of Work is now
- Changing heartsets and mindsets amidst change
The pandemic has accelerated things on so many levels and specifically in technology and many of the things that were regarded as imperatives but kind of like left to one side. I think organisations, ourselves included, have realised that the future is here already. We have been pushed into it.
So how can technology come and enable that and help organisations to be able to move? One of the key things that needs to happen is that people need to shift their mindsets. So, yes it is relevant.
JOEL: Great. So maybe Eric, there are some stories which really stood out for you in terms of the things that people struggle with when you were actually training them in workshops. What are people going through right now? Those same learners?
ERIC: So during the workshops, what we realised is that the call to action is pretty low and I think because we have journeyed with the same group of people for a number of years, we realise that a few key things that are stopping them from moving forward or to move into the call to action is the low motivation and the low urgency to change. Reason being the environmental support is very low.
What are some of the participants’ struggles when you are training them in workshops? How are they affected now?
- Learners previously not given adequate support
- Forced to adopt technology today
- Realise they have the potential to change and adapt
They know that they need to change but because they are not given support to try to move on to a new platform in learning, or they are not given adequate amount of training to make that shift. But with the pandemic situation that is happening, it seems that everything has to be fast-forwarded regardless of whether you are ready or not. And that actually brings forth a great opportunity. It brought forth an opportunity for people to realise that they are able to do it and the potential to change and adapt quickly. So these are some things that we are observing in the current situation.
JOEL: The e-book shares challenges. You were writing about how people face challenges when adopting technology. So Aline, can you actually tell us about what are some factors that people should consider and who are we talking about? Does it affect everyone or just a special group of people?
ALINE: Thanks Joel. You know typically when we think of people who have challenges in adopting technology, we always think of people who are older or people who are less tech-savvy. But like what Eric mentioned, now everything is accelerated. Ready or not, you are in there.
What should people consider when facing challenges relating to adopting technology?
- Everyone across the organisation is affected
- Ability to learn is key
- Less agile individuals feel more challenged
So we see that across the organisation, everybody is struggling. And people are trying to meet operations but they are also trying to learn new things, new tools, systems, processes and we’re trying to move at speed. So what we have observed is that the ability to learn becomes really key and it is a challenge. The people who are maybe less self-directed or struggle in their agility find themselves in a more challenging situation during this time.
JOEL: What are some key things that you take note of when designing how to help people overcome these challenges?
ALINE: Just because people are, I mean we are talking about learning right? People are having to learn so many things. And learning is essentially making connections. We need to be able to help people make connections to things that are familiar or things that are relevant. So context building becomes so important.
What are key things to take note of when designing how to help people overcome their challenges?
- Learning is making connections
- Help people connect to familiar or relevant things
- Context building is important
We need to help people build context around what people are familiar with. Let's start from there. Let’s build from there. Or what is relevant to people? How does this change impact my job? How does this change impact my supervisor? And supervisors are very important for people. How does this change impact my team? Or my organisation? And how does this whole thing fit in the industry? Is this for now? Is this for the future?
So all these things need to be tied together. And once people are able to see the connections, it helps speed up their learning. It helps put everybody on the same page.
JOEL: That sounds like communication is very crucial. Getting people on the same page. And not just talking right but maybe listening to I suppose? Now how would to you do that? In today’s context, a lot of business interactions have shifted online. Is it still possible to do this remotely?
ALINE: Absolutely, I mean context building can be done whether face-to-face or over remote. Actually now that we are working online it is even more important. When we do our programs a big part of it is really making sure that we are intentional in our design. To be able to have experiences or activities where we talk around the context. And when we have a run, for sample, our SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace, so we have that over remote.
At the end of the programme, one thing that we often hear our participants say is, “Now I know why. Now I know why so I can do this. Now I know why so this is what I'm going to do next.” And that shows that the why behind the context is actually something that helps move people forward.
JOEL: I must say that actually learning online is not a new thing. Because a lot of us have done e-learning. We have done other courses online. Eric, you have experience equipping many people over the years now. How are people taking to remote learning?
ERIC: How can we make online learning something that is still attractive? Something where learners will still feel engaged? We took those feedback, we spent a good four to six weeks designing the whole online space for learning.
And I must say when we first did our pilot run with a group of learners from the banking industry, the responses were fantastic! I mean HR practitioners who came for previews were asking questions like can a learner sit in front of a computer for the whole day? Can they even sit through a session for 30 minutes?
I'm pleased to share that our learners can sit through the entire session. 2 days, a total of 12 hours. They enjoyed it. We even did Zumba over tea break. They enjoyed it. They walked away, most importantly, they walked away feeling confident that they are able to learn from a digital space. And I think that has also changed my perspective to online learning.
And I think in ROHEI, we have redefined the words remote learning or even online learning.
Are people taking to remote learning?
- ROHEI Remote learning is ‘live’ facilitation
- Engaging and interactive
- Learners enjoy it and feel confident learning
JOEL: Oh great. Thank you. It sounds like there is good that is coming out of it. Sometimes we just need that push right? What do you see is the greatest challenge right now? What kinds of conversations are you having with people, the clients that you are talking to?
PRAISE: In the current climate, it would be about making sure that the companies are able to survive and thrive, so clearly cost management would be an issue. Another one would be the very different work arrangement that is showing up. Remote working arrangements. How can you make sure that you are growing with your team and staying connected with your team?
What do you see are the greatest challenges for organisations right now?
- Cost management
- Collaboration in a remote setting
- Supporting career changes
- Building digital confidence quickly
There are also already calls for supporting career changes where there have been job displacements. So there's a need for speed to be able to get that digital confidence really quickly. So we have got a suite of remote programmes that we will be unveiling which are meant to be able to attend to manage change on an individual level. How do you manage change as you are working together with your teams? How do you manage change also in the midst of your career transition?
JOEL: Last question is, for everyone: What is one thing that you would advise listeners to do if they are learning to cope with all the changes or if you are helping your organisation to adopt tech as an enabler today?
ALINE: So as someone who helps people adopt tech, because people are learning something new so there will be a lot of questions coming your way. But I think it's just to consider that a lot of the questions stem from a valid concern. It's a genuine concern. So to just be patient and help people to make sense of it. To be able to build connections for the learning.
PRAISE: I think one thing that I'm observing is that you need to be ready for the journey. In other words to say you need to be ready to be patient and to persevere through the questions, through the uncertainty, through the integrations the necessary integrations that will happen when your organisation is undergoing the transformations. There will be many conversations, many cross-functional teams at meetings, etc. So just to be mentally ready for that. Not just for yourself but for your team to be ready for that.
ERIC: I think the one enabler for everybody to take on is to stay calm. Recognise that because it is something new, it takes time for us to learn. And as we are progressing forward, that's when we are able to connect the dots when we are looking back. So if anything, I would always encourage people to try, because you never know where it will lead you to. So start by trying, and exploring.
JOEL: Wonderful! I think that's all the time we have for today. Thank you Praise, Aline, Eric for your time, your thoughts. And for those who are listening in: I hope you have taken away something useful for yourselves and your team. Thank you for watching.