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Our organization is known worldwide for the quality of our consultancy services. That doesn’t mean we can just look forward towards the next job; at Deloitte, we also reflect back on our approach to see how we could give clients an even better service. And sometimes, we even put the theoretical basis of our methodology under the microscope, so we can be more successful in practice.
Marjolein Vlaming, Manager Change & Technology Adoption at Deloitte Consulting, thought of a scientific methodology to improve change programs:
‘I studied Work & Organizational Psychology and followed that with a masters in Information Management. After several years of work experience, I consciously chose for Deloitte because of their Change & Technology Adoption division which advises organizations on the human consequences of large-scale programs of change with an IT component.
While an IT person might implement a new system and then simply say, ‘it works’, we focused on the social impact of a transition. Because ultimately it’s people who have to work with that new system. How can we remove anxiety and facilitate learning? I also noticed that there was often a difference between what people said and what they did. And if a new IT-system is going to be used by 100,000 workers of a multinational company, you as a Change Consultant had little to go on beyond your own gut feelings. I thought it would be interesting to measure what people actually did during a program of change.
You can make change management a great deal more effective if you base it on actual data on system-users’ behavior. Who makes the most use of a new system? Who logs in the fastest? From both my studies, I always had the idea to measure how people think and react with the help of IT. I first began to develop that idea while doing consultancy projects. Afterwards, together with my colleagues, I set up a pilot within Deloitte, which had positive results.
‘People often have a vague idea of Change Management. I wanted to make it more data-driven.’
Because it took up more time, I went over to Deloitte Innovation with my plan. Thanks to their funding, my team was able to work full-time on it for some months and I decided to create a scientifically based assessment. I contacted a professor at Cornell University and flew over to New York to set up a collaboration. With the help of his theoretical knowledge on Change Management, we developed the Change Adoption Profiler: a tool that can measure the willingness of workers to change, divided into four categories ranging from “Frontrunners” to “Traditionals”. Depending on which types of people you have in your organization, you can make adjustments to your program of change.
Our product has been ‘live’ since April 2016 and we have already used it many times for clients. I now combine my work as Change Consultant with the further development of the Change Adopter Profiler. Recently, I gave an internal training session to EMEA colleagues in London in order to demonstrate the benefits this could have for their clients.
It all began with an idea in my head, of course, but Deloitte helped me to achieve this result. My co-workers at Innovation, for example, helped me make the step from smart idea to commercially viable product. That process might have gone faster as a start-up; you certainly have to convince a lot of people here internally. But, on the other hand, a professor at Cornell University would probably have reacted a lot slower to an e-mail from Marjolein@e-mail.com. If your idea has commercial potential and you yourself have the necessary perseverance, you can really achieve something special with the help of Deloitte’s clout and international network.’
What impact will you make?
Like Marjolein, do you think about how something could be improved? And do you want the freedom and means to make your idea a reality? Then check out our job vacancies.