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Enterprise Digital Podcast - Revisited
06 February, 2024 ITIL


You can lead a horse to water – but can you change their work life? 

Continuing our series of reviews of our previous podcasts, highlighting the nuggets of brilliant advice and information they contain. 

This week’s focus is on Erika Flora’s episode, and how to bring people on the journey in times of transformational change 

‘Bumped into ITIL’ 

A former microbiologist who realised five minutes into her first job that this wasn’t for her, Erika Flora’s  journey to help change work lives for the better has been varied. 

Erika says: “I worked as a microbiologist for about two years and about five minutes into my first day, I was like, ‘oh, no, I don’t like this, like this at all. What am I going to do with my life.’” 

From there she went into a sales role, decided that wasn’t for her either, and then into project management in the pharmaceutical industry. 

“I was working on the business side for several years, I got the opportunity to, you know, we didn’t call it organisational transformation back then. But that’s what I was doing. 

“It was really chaotic. We didn’t know how many projects were running, we didn’t know the state of where things were at. I really helped the team work on the people the process and the technology side of things.  

“If people don’t see the need for change, don’t want to change don’t have the capacity and the time to change then it doesn’t happen. Luckily, I had the supportive leadership and we said we need to put an emphasis on this.” 

From there she ‘bumped’ into ITIL in later roles and has since gone on to co-author for the ITIL Digital and IT Strategy book. 

Organisations are just moving parts 

Erika has found smaller organisations are easier to adapt to change. It is not that larger organisations cannot equally embrace change and transformation, but it might just require a little more effort. 

“In a large organisation, there’s just more moving parts. There’s more teams, there’s more technology, there’s just more of everything. Change can happen. You just need leaders that buy into it.  

“Sometimes that’s the case, sometimes it’s not. We’ve affected change in very large organisations, but leaders have to get it in and lead from the front. If they don’t do that, then the change will stall out, it will hit some sort of a roadblock and stop.  

“In small organisations. I think it’s easier just because there’s less stuff to change less things that are connected to one another. There’s less politics sometimes.” 

A different lens 

How does the industry address even the definition of digital transformation? 

“It requires all parts of our organisation it requires change and all are parts of our organisation, all the way from the technology that we use, how we use it, how we interact with our customers, how we lead the organisation, a lot of times that’s going to be different to organisations that really want to become digital tend to be much more agile in how they work.” 

Sometimes the relationships between the groups can be fractious! 

Erika explains: “We have a global non-profit organisation; their marketing, and part of their leadership team came to us and said, IT is terrible, we don’t like them. We don’t want to involve them in the conversation. But here’s what we want to do. We want we want to make better use of our data. We want to put some governance around how we use that data, because we’re stepping all over each other.  

“We helped them figure all that stuff out using enterprise service management concepts. We just didn’t call it that.”  

Tips for leaders 

It sounds so easy, but for any of us who have worked in transformation projects, we know it is anything but. 

“Leaders need to be in front. And they need to know these modern ways of working. If they want to be an agile organisation, they need to learn what that means. I see a lot of times where leaders will send everyone except themselves to a training class, to learn about ITIL, or to learn about agile or to learn about DevOps.  

“And then sometimes there’s a surprise because people will come back and they’re excited, they want to change all these things.  

“Sometimes for leaders, it’s demanding change, have them too, and so they don’t understand the change that their people are begging for, they don’t understand the steps to take.  

“I would say self-education is really, really important.” 

Key Takeaways 

Change can be achieved, at any level: All organisations are a bunch of moving parts, and smaller organisations might be more adaptable, that is not to say larger organisations cannot successfully change – they just might require a bigger army. 

Leadership from the front: Perhaps one of the greatest challenges is getting the buy in from the start. Self-education is key. 

Change work life: Do that through training, by equipping people with terminology so that they speak the same language by giving them ideas that maybe they didn’t have before, through mapping out their processes or value streams so that they aren’t wasting their time. 

Listen to Erika on the Enterprise Digital Podcast 

Connect with Erika via X (formerly Twitter) @erikaflora or find her on Linked In. 

The Enterprise Digital Podcast is a regular discussion on all matters related to Enterprise Service Management and Digital Transformation. The hosts are Barclay Rae and Ian Aitchison, who share and discuss their thoughts on the converging worlds of technology, service management, people and management, business and corporate development, governance, automation and more… Regular guests will be invited to try and get a word in …  

Listen to the podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.