Fostering a culture of adoption

We’ve gone through a lot of changes in the past year and, at times, it’s been challenging to keep up with it all. Through these changes, we have relied on some sparky individuals at ATB to help us manage the evolving landscape and ensure that we have a culture of adoption and agile development internally, before we scale out. After all, what good is convincing Albertans to adopt new solutions when our own team members aren’t feeling it?

A lot of our work tends to be behind-the-scenes product development and internal process improvements...things that focus on our own team members. In the early stages of our journey we relied on traditional change management techniques and found that team member adoption was low with more efforts focused on workarounds and avoiding new tools and processes.

Because traditional change management techniques were not aligning with our vision of an adoptive culture and an agile environment, the Spark team was assembled with key partnerships across our internal learning, communications, and marketing teams. Rather than traditional task lists and methodology, we’ve blown up the typical notions of change management and taken on a lens that focuses on both adoption, and consequently, adaptation.

The Spark team recognized the need to address multiple factors in fostering an adaptive organizational culture where team members rapidly adopt and become users of new solutions. They shifted the internal development process, stood up a dependency dashboard to keep project teams informed, improved user engagement with a methodology for surveying and interviewing, and changed our internal perceptions around failure and project termination.

This change in perception was crucial for success in fostering an adoptive (and adAptive) culture. But how does one actually target this shift within a large enterprise? We started by studying some of the most adaptive cultures in the world to uncover the features that they have in common. Here are a few of our top learnings:

  1. Adaptive cultures are constantly in flux, you have to practice to become good at change. Part of ATB’s culture is to be comfortable being uncomfortable, this takes daily effort by each team member to step outside their comfort zone. It also takes commitment from our leadership team to be constantly adjusting targets and setting new goals.

  2. Effective change is bottom-up, not top down. We have a community of ‘igniters’ at ATB, team members who have volunteered to be product testers and early adopters. Our goal is to eventually have the entire organization become igniters

  3. It is human nature to act on what you’re measured on. The Spark team celebrates and rewards our team of ‘igniters’ who are instrumental in the deployment process, who act as advocates for a product and support fellow team members in the adoption process.

  4. Widespread change requires momentum. There will always be an adoption curve, but our goal is to move the entire curve to the left, with greater emphasis on early adopters.

Working towards a culture of adoption, we also need to have the tools to measure success and ensure we put the user at the centre of all our efforts. In addition to user logs, the Spark team has implemented qualitative feedback loops and an internal net promoter score.  

Another way we are demonstrating our user-centric attitude is by integrating adoption activities. We are not just measuring adaptiveness, but also taking the lead on things like roadshows, branch visits, and ‘Spark hours’ to help our vast network of team members embrace what’s new.

In our journey to transform ourselves, and banking, the Spark team is working collaboratively with our internal learning, communications, and marketing teams to create an adaptive group of people who are hungry for new things, rather than frustrated or annoyed with new rollouts. This takes two components: products that are needed, valuable, and based on user input - and people who are accustomed to change and are active in fostering a culture of adoption.

Are you interested in being part of a team culture with people who are eager to change and adapt? Check out our open opportunities here.

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