02/03/2023 | by Joanne Ferguson


For those that know me, I always start with the ‘why’. 

Why do I start with the ‘why’? 

Well, early on in my career I realised that for people to feel engaged in an organisation and be part of something bigger, they need to understand ‘why’ they should participate, and also understand ‘what’s in it for me ’. 

Being able to effectively communicate the ‘why’, and what it means to all stakeholders, allows for the best adoption, and in turn the cultural change organisations are looking for.

Successful leaders focus on ‘why’ they do what they do, instead of just the operational aspect of the ‘what’ and ‘how’ they do it.

Let’s talk about Change Management. No…it’s not just a buzz phrase, and not really that complicated once you’ve set the foundations.

We all have a vision of what we want to achieve. Change management is  being able to engage all stakeholders, and this determines whether your vision will succeed or fail. 

There are many versions of frameworks, the one I follow is simple:

  • Craft a vision and align it to business goals
  • Prepare the organisation by determining impacts and those affected
  • Develop an effective training & communication implementation strategy
  • Embed changes within company culture and practices
  • Implement a support structure, and above all monitor and analyse results


Introducing new technology or systems into an organisation can be daunting, and often involves significant changes to processes and workflows. If teams don’t have ‘buy-in’ and are unwilling to embrace the new system, the implementation will likely fail. It is critical to employ effective change management processes to make sure the rollout is successful, and the ROI is realised.

At Proximity, we work with you to simplify aspects of business operations and help make the reshaping of your new world a smooth process for all teams and individuals involved.

  • Leaders are a key driver of change – we actively support, motivate and enable leaders to hardwire change, and inspire their teams to effectively use our Retail Super-App through a range of training techniques
  • People are at the center of change – we support multiway and inclusive engagement with simple intuitive learning and training methodologies  

The role of retail leaders is paramount to the success of any change management process. The result of enterprise change management is that it becomes the norm and routine. That’s what we aspire to. Uncomplicated and embedded as part of your core customer ethos. 

From the CEO to your frontline team, they each develop their own personal competencies at leading change from wherever they sit in the organisation. 


Whenever I’ve conducted employee engagement surveys, the most common team member insights revolve around the perception that the organisation doesn’t communicate enough or invest in enough training. When it comes to Change Management;  communication, training and timing is KEY!

  • Communicate the right information to the right audience at the right time 
    • Present simple, relevant, and consistent material on a frequent basis
    • Establish a ‘train the trainer’ approach, promoting leadership adoption
    • Consider a blended education approach combining on-line information, facilitated hands-on training, additional self-led practice and refresher training 
    • Deliver training just prior to go-live so recency of information is at the forefront
  • Reinforce the simplicity, ease and speed of the new platform at all communication stages


The role of retail leaders is paramount to the success of any change strategy. The most successful brands in cultural change management are those whose leaders focus on key areas of Adoption, Engagement and Leadership. These three pillars are key to maximise performance and drive acceptance for all.

When you have a new and exciting vision that empowers your team members to deliver a seamless customer experience, increasing efficiency, customer engagement, and lifetime customer value, then a robust change management strategy is a must.

And by all means – make it fun! 

  • EXCITE to build momentum
  • ENGAGE to support planning & preparation for implementation
  • EDUCATE to empower all team members to use the solution with confidence

Keep focused on your vision. 

Keep the discussion alive. 

Keep learning from your team. 

Keep the customer at the centre of your decision making.


Joanne Ferguson

Written by Joanne Ferguson

Joanne is passionate about creating connected and solution-driven experiences that deliver on core customer and business objectives. She has strong department store and vertical retailing experience and loves creating customer-centric approaches that leverage the complementary digital tools.

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