In the maritime world, digital transformation is gaining ground with automation reaching increasing interest while IMO puts the issue of autonomous ships high on the agenda, stepping up efforts toward their adoption. AI based predictive positioning systems are already being trialed for shipping. Also, advanced software and simulation capabilities are emerging, and maritime connectivity gets improved. How are shipping organizations about to keep pace with this digital evolution, though?

BCG says that companies should 'scan' the business environment for digital inspiration by monitoring digital trends along the entire transport value chain, while emphasizing on how other innovative companies have successfully adopted digital technologies.

McKinsey has unpacked the change management trend highlighting the critical part change management plays in driving successful outcomes. However, the firm also finds that most change management efforts fail because outdated models and change techniques are fundamentally misaligned with today’s dynamic business environment.

A definition for change management

Change management refers to how people and teams are affected by an organizational transition.

- It includes methods on how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.

- It deals with many different disciplines, from behavioral and social sciences to information technology as well as business solutions.

From individual change to organizational change

Individual change management is an approach of how one person makes a change successfully. Whether at home, in the community, work, individuals move through the change which provides the framework to make a transition.

Created by Prosci founder Jeff Hiatt, the ADKAR Model is a goal-oriented change management model that guides individual and organizational change. The acronym represents the five tangible and concrete outcomes that people but also organizations need to achieve for lasting change: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement.


Moreover, Dr. John Paul Kotter, Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, Harvard Business School, has observed countless leaders and organizations as they were trying to transform or execute their strategies. He identified and extracted the success factors and combined them into a methodology, the 8-Step Process for Leading Change.

  1. Establishing a sense of urgency
  2. Creating the guiding coalition
  3. Developing a vision and strategy
  4. Communicating the change vision
  5. Empowering employees for broad-based action
  6. Generating short-term wins
  7. Consolidating gains and producing more change
  8. Anchoring new approaches in the culture

Our proposal for successful digital change management

  1. Plan ahead by tracking and mitigating digital transformation risks
  2. Identify executive stakeholders and change agents
  3. Align with a center of excellence (COE) to manage all digital transformation efforts
  4. Define key tactics that will drive your intended change
  5. Strengthen change team role definitions, workstreams
  6. Resolve business process impacts
  7. Create a measurement plan; include KPIs
  8. Develop a content strategy plan
  9. Design a training plan
  10. Develop a communication plan
  11. Monitor and address the change frequently

The rate of change is continuing to increase exponentially, giving us more and more wild moments in every generation. Humanity will change more in the next 30 years, than in the previous 300.

.. said Christian Vakarelis, Navarino, during the 2019 SMART4SEA Conference