Impact of Digital on How We Implement Change

By Audra Proctor

No one doubts the effectiveness of face-to-face workshops for organisational change implementation. But the practicality of things, such as, availability, time, expense and choice of venue, to name a few, makes running training workshops a challenge for many organisations. In this article Audra Proctor of Changefirst unveils how advancement in digital technology and digital delivery methods has brought many organisations alternative, equally effective and cost-effective solutions.


I was quite taken by a recent article in the September (2015) issue of People Management, CIPD. The article was really about the power of video to transform L&D efforts, but it also provided an interesting insight into the impact of digital in the world of organisational change implementation.

ImageThe article kicked off with an interesting snippet from the British builders’ merchant and home improvement retailer – Travis Perkins. Based in middle England (Northampton), it operates 1,900 outlets across the United Kingdom & Ireland. Around 12 month ago, the organisation created a YouTube account and from that time period to now, more than 570 videos have been uploaded to the account. It transpires that when Travis Perkins first receive a new product line, employees can be seen capturing immediate intel and experiences on their smartphones; from the unpacking, to assembling and testing new products, which is then uploaded to YouTube in a matter of minutes and available to colleagues far and wide.

With over 26,000 employees spread over large warehouses in different locations, getting people into a classroom to learn and try out for themselves had been increasingly difficult and therefore it had to be ‘pushed’ out to staff. However, these short, user-generated video clips were not only creating a ‘pull’ for just-in-time learning, but resulted in an estimated £1m saving in product training over the time period.

This is very reminiscent of change implementation across the global organisations we support. For years, our clients had wrestled with the inconvenience, lack of availability, time, and expense of face-to-face workshops. No one doubted their effectiveness, but travel expenses and venue fees alone quickly added up – not to mention the cost of creating and running the programmes, and the loss of work time for participants. Even just a two-day offsite training programme could cost over £50,000, and in 2014, we were able to help a client slash a £400,000 organisational training expense to a £50,000 one – while training four times more people – with an e-learning programme created in Articulate Storyline.

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