Waves of change in the Maritime Industry, can they meet expectations?

Waves of change in the Maritime Industry, can they meet expectations?

Author: Nigel Taylor

I wanted to take the opportunity to focus on the Marine Industry and the incredible opportunity of change sweeping through it.

I have worked in multiple sectors across IT, Software, Telecoms and more recently the Marine Industry, leading Brand and Global Marketing communications teams.

It is evident that the Industry is in a significant time of flux and change through Digital transformation, compliance and new legislations, safety, sustainability, cyber security, blockchain, IOT, AR,AI, cloud solutions and smart shipping to name but a few.

So much change is taking place that I wanted to focus, not on the innovation and technological elements playing their disruptive part, but on the human capabilities, processes and leadership elements within the Marine sector that can drive transformation.

An effective leadership, communications strategy and change mindset will be the ultimate future challenge for your business moving forward.

Some say that mindsets or ways of working, have not moved with the times and are now experiencing what I call rudderless transformation, excuse the pun.

Currently at Fresh Collective we are working with Marine start-ups, disruptors and SME’s bringing new brand purpose, products and services to the market through collective partnerships.

Companies need to be working with leadership teams and partners to build a clear strategy for organisational effectiveness,

enabling them to drive the rapid pace of projects needed to stay ahead of the game.

The continuous discussion I am having with Maritime Brands and leaders is the shared view on the capability to implement Customer Centric change programs.

Pushing new ways of working via processes, people and technology to support their teams of Sales, Marketing, Developers, HR, Finance, Crew and Engineers to drive change in their business.

I know too well the biggest challenge in any organisation is taking on change and being able to communicate that change with measured results.

Transformation projects and programs, whatever the size, requires alignment and bringing the whole company and customers with you from start to finish.

So, if you are in the beginning of a transformational program or driving change within your company, please do have a read.

This could validate your current thinking or give you further food for thought.

Why do Most Organisational Change Efforts Fail to Meet Expectations?

A key reason is the lack of commitment from top management and the Emotional Intelligence required these days to support the human change factor.

There is also the timing of external conditions, taking the focus away from the program or project.

Often individuals or groups who resist change can block the way for success due to a set mindset, bad communication and poor preparation.

Not enough resources are devoted to the project or programs to ensure its survival (i.e., know-how, time, money, training, planning).

Communication is not integrated and often not consistent internally and externally, so different messages are being sold to customers and remote teams.

My recommendation is to have a simple Checklist for Change

  • Discovery phase, what is the motivation and reason for change within the organisation?
  • Map out and Prepare the correct amount of resources, budget and measurements (KPI).
  • Gain top management support.
  • Appoint Change leaders for driving the change that have the Emotional Intelligence and project management capabilities.
  • Understand the drivers and reasons of resistance up front.
  • Have a live timeline and implementation plan that is reviewed and shared often.
  • Create a communication plan for internal and external customers
  • Adapt a Do learn Do process. Track, Measure and adjust learnings or direction to ensure objectives are met.

Tell Everyone, Communicate, Communicate

Launch the change program like you would a customer service or product launch campaign.

Create the tools and assets for communicating the message and for train the trainer opportunities.

Name the project or program so people can identify with it as a collective task.

Creating consistent messages that are easily adoptable and adaptable for global and local teams is essential .

Status updates via innovative internal platforms and creation of bitesize video content updates, podcasts or newsletters are simpler and more digestible for teams and customers.

Everyone needs to understand from the start of the transformation project. The why? The how? and the impact on me as an individual and the company.

Managing the Change Process

  • Honesty, Integrity and trust are essential in delivering good or bad news, people need to understand what is happening along the way.
  • Avoid assumptions and early judgment – make decisions based on facts.
  • No one likes to change, so pain is inevitable but can and should be reduced.
  • Create an inclusive open dialogue for team input yet ensure the process for final decision-making is in place as a direction needs to be clearly set.
  • Make sure you deal with conflicts as they arise
  • Focus on common goals and areas of agreement.
  • Key use of targets and milestones that are consistent, easy to understand and stretch people.
  • It is human nature to want to know how things are tracking, try creating momentum when targets or milestones are reached – celebrate collectively.
  • Ensure that you have an aligned strategy, structure, systems and culture to embrace the change.
  • Manage expectations of all stakeholders.

4 Key Best Practices for Implementing Change

  1. Do no change for change sake or because it is a short – term knee jerk reaction.
  2. Explore the WHY do we need to change and WHAT is the impact, plan of action, how long will it take or cost before announcing any change program.
  3. Create a shared vision and common direction with significant thought around the people, champions of change and communication strategy.
  4. Always Communicate, involve people and be honest.

How will you get there with greater collective success?

  • Build an implementation plan: this should include some quick wins to build confidence, reduce fears and create momentum.
  • Use processes and frameworks to enable change.
  • Embrace and ensure cross-functional team activity, build in learning and development with HR practices.
  • Manage expectations carefully! Don’t over-promise on the gains or positives and don’t under-sell on the pain points.
  • Every transformational change program will require a cultural mindset change. This often takes a long time depending on the organisations current maturity or culture.
  • Lead by example.
  • Leaders need to create a push and pull culture to inspire and motivate colleagues.

Key Reasons Why People Resist Change

  • Material or emotional interests are threatened (money, power, job security, habits).
  • Misunderstanding of what is changing or why.
  • Lack of trust and fear of change as well as a potential disagreement on what change is needed.

Ways to Overcome Resistance to Change

  • Ensure that the path and goals are clear and that the Authority figures are involved, capable and have the EQ to manage the journey.
  • Politics should not be allowed to play a part at all.
  • Change champions should be on hand to support teams and drive consistency.
  • Participation and collective workshops in early stages can be used to diffuse resistance to stop issues further along.

Final thoughts

Every change project has it’s individual requirements and obstacles, the mindset and commitment of all involved will be the ultimate criteria for your success.

Look at the big picture, speed, professionalism and the ability to drive the change at pace without compromising the quality of results and human engagement will be key.

We are committed to supporting the collective Marine teams in driving change in the most successful manner, why not get in touch or drop us an email.

I would be more than willing to have a free 1-hour consultation call to understand your pain points and give you some key advice if needed.

Fresh Collective is supporting waves of change in your Industry and driving collective success through Authentic communications.

Let us connect today.