GDPR is the most all-encompassing and intrusive business change programme to hit businesses for a generation and arguably ever. No part of the business world is immune from the regulation and we have to be the agents for change. If not us then who?
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been seeking. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama”
Many organisations are severely under-estimating the scale of this change. Some see it as a legal tick-box exercise, some view it as an IT project. In truth, it is an enterprise-wide change management programme. It needs senior sponsorship, it needs engagement by every part of the organisation. It needs you to be the change you seek.
Change is difficult, change is always intrusive, but change is usually for the better. It’s how mankind progressively moves forward, if we hadn’t changed we’d still be wearing animal skins, living in caves, throwing stones.
So, assuming change is a good thing, then by association the General Data Protection Regulation is a good thing. For far too long organisations have conveniently overlooked or just ignored data protection and all its implications and in an offline industrial analogue world that was OK…ish. But in an online, fully connected, totally collaborative, self-service world where data has to be accurate and complete, then not keeping data secure, private and protected is just unacceptable. So, this change is not only for the good, it’s a business-critical activity.
The challenge with all change programmes is not the implications of the change, but knowing what to do and how to do it. Demand for attention elsewhere in the business often means that executives don’t have the change management skills or time required to focus on this level of business-critical change. There is no embarrassment in seeking help, quite the opposite actually. It’s like any issue, first you have to identify you have a problem – then you have to accept that you need help. Until you do then change will not happen – you have to be the one you’ve been seeking. You are the change you seek!