Change Management in the Digital Age

Navigating Technological Disruption

Change Management in the Digital Age

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

In today’s digital age, businesses face the constant challenge of adapting to the fast-paced environment of technological disruption. Change management plays a critical role in helping organizations navigate this disruption and harness the power of digital advancements to stay competitive. In this article, we will explore two case studies that highlight the importance of effective change management in successfully implementing digital transformations.

Case Study 1: Blockbuster vs Netflix

One of the most classic examples of a company failing to adapt to technological disruption is the case of Blockbuster and Netflix. Blockbuster, once a dominant force in the video rental industry, was slow to embrace the digital revolution. As Netflix emerged with its online streaming platform, Blockbuster failed to recognize the significance of this shift and the changing preferences of consumers. Despite being offered the opportunity to buy Netflix in its early stages, Blockbuster declined the offer.

The failure of Blockbuster can be attributed to a lack of effective change management. The company failed to recognize the need to adapt its business model to the changing landscape of digital media consumption. Blockbuster was heavily invested in physical stores and rental services, and its reluctance to embrace digital streaming led to its downfall. In contrast, Netflix successfully implemented change management strategies by digitalizing its operations, adopting a subscription-based model, and investing in content creation. Today, Netflix is a global leader in the entertainment industry, while Blockbuster is merely a memory.

Case Study 2: General Electric (GE) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Another example that highlights the importance of change management in the digital age is the case of General Electric (GE) and its transformation through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). GE, a multinational conglomerate, recognized the potential of IIoT to revolutionize industrial processes and unlock new opportunities for efficiency and productivity.

To fully leverage the power of IIoT, GE had to undergo significant changes in its operations, systems, and culture. Change management played a vital role in guiding GE’s digital transformation. The company implemented structured training programs to equip its employees with the necessary skills to embrace the digital technologies. Additionally, GE focused on developing a culture of innovation, collaboration, and agility to adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape.

Through effective change management, GE successfully transformed its business by incorporating IIoT solutions into its product offerings. This resulted in improved operational efficiency, advanced data analytics capabilities, and enhanced customer experiences. By embracing digital disruption, GE was able to stay ahead of its competitors and maintain its position as a leader in the industrial sector.


The digital age has brought about rapid and widespread technological disruption, which poses significant challenges for businesses. The case studies of Blockbuster and General Electric demonstrate the critical role of change management in successfully navigating this disruption.

Organizations must be proactive in recognizing the need for change and embracing digital transformation. This requires effective change management strategies, including engaging employees, fostering a culture of innovation, and investing in the necessary resources and training. By doing so, businesses can leverage the power of digital advancements to stay competitive, deliver value to customers, and thrive in the digital age.

SPECIAL BONUS: Braden Kelley’s Problem Finding Canvas can be a super useful starting point for doing design thinking or human-centered design.

“The Problem Finding Canvas should help you investigate a handful of areas to explore, choose the one most important to you, extract all of the potential challenges and opportunities and choose one to prioritize.”

Image credit: Pixabay

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