Resistance Demystified: Accelerating Digital Transformation in the Attractions Industry

Geraldine Lee
September 1, 2023

Picture this: A whale-watching boat tour, cutting through the waves of a vast ocean.

Suddenly, an unexpected gale forces it to halt its journey. This resistance from nature is tangible, a formidable force that obstructs progress.

Now, imagine a similar scenario unfolding within the tours and attractions industry—only this time, the adversary is invisible. It's a silent yet stubborn force that stifles innovation, hinders growth, and derails even the most well-planned digital strategies.

Resistance to digital transformation is not just a phantom menace—it's a reality that manifests in skepticism towards new technologies, reluctance to alter established workflows, and an unwavering attachment to traditional practices.

According to McKinsey, 70% of all organizational transformations fail to deliver the desired outcomes. When it comes to digital transformations, the odds are even less favorable, with only 16% achieving successfully improved performance and sustained change in the long term.

But by understanding the nature of this resistance, operational leaders navigating this landscape can devise effective strategies to overcome it. Let's explore how we can turn resistance into acceptance, empowering teams to embrace the digital revolution and reap its many benefits.

The Need for Digital Transformation

Digital transformation isn't just a buzzword—it's a vital catalyst for growth, innovation, and survival in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world.

Previously, we've shared about the RocketRez Digital Maturity Matrix for Attractions, as well as how you can assess your current state of digital maturity.

Understanding your organization's current state of digital maturity serves as a starting point in your transformation journey, allowing you to set realistic goals and develop a tailored strategy that meets your specific needs. To begin, let's explore the origins of resistance and strategies to overcome them.

Common Root Causes of Resistance to Digital Transformation

Once you have identified the areas of digital transformation that you wish to focus on, it's time to address the underlying resistance from those within your organization.

There are several common root causes for this resistance, and learning to identify them is essential to your success in digital transformation.

  1. Legacy Systems One of the biggest challenges for tours and attractions is outdated legacy systems. Many attractions have been using the same systems for decades, and these systems are slow, outdated and often incompatible with newer technologies. Upgrading them also requires significant time and resources, posing a challenge for smaller companies with limited resources.
  2. Fear of Change: Often, employees fear new technologies because of their unfamiliarity. For example, transitioning from an old ticketing system to an all-in-one modern guest experience platform might seem daunting. There's a new system to learn, new processes to put in place, and a fear that the new technology won't work as effectively as what they're used to.
  3. Unclear Vision: Without a clear, compelling vision for the future, your team may struggle to understand the need for digital transformation. It's vital to communicate the strategic reasons behind the digital initiative and how it will benefit the organization in the long run. Highlight how the changes can help attract a wider audience, increase ticket sales, and boost revenue.
  4. Lack of Employee Involvement: If your team isn't involved in the planning and implementation stages, they may feel that the changes are being forced upon them. This can lead to resistance. For example, when considering platforms for your sightseeing cruise operations, gather feedback from your team. They may provide valuable insights on what features matter the most for maximum customer satisfaction.
  5. Inadequate Training and Support: Employees need ongoing training and support to adapt to new digital tools and workflows. If you're transitioning to a new ticketing platform, make sure your tech team is on hand to provide support during the transition.

    Strategies for Turning Resistance Into Acceptance

    Now that you're aware of the common sources of resistance, let's explore several strategies to turn this potential obstacle into a source of strength.

    1. Communicate Clearly: Start by communicating the purpose and goals of your digital transformation initiative. Explain why these changes are necessary—not just from an operational standpoint, but also how it dramatically enhances the guest experience. Show your team how this change benefits both your organization and your visitors.
    2. Involve Your Team: Invite your team to take part in the digital transformation process from start to finish—from brainstorming ideas for new technologies to providing feedback on products and processes. This collaborative approach instills a sense of ownership and trust, making the transition smoother.
    3. Invest in Training: Provide comprehensive training to ensure that your staff is comfortable with the new technologies. At RocketRez, our product experts help train your key staff to ensure a smooth transition, and our Academy courses give participants hands-on experience with the latest features in our all-in-one guest experience platform.
    4. Foster Leadership Support: Your leadership sets the tone for the entire team. Show your commitment to the digital transformation initiative by motivating your staff to embrace the changes enthusiastically. Demonstrate that you are fully invested in making this transition a success.
    5. Reassure Your Team: Transitioning to new technologies can be disruptive at first, but reassuring your team that there's a positive outcome ahead can make a difference. Value their feedback, remind them they're not alone in this journey, and show them the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Remember, digital transformation isn't just about technology; it's about shaping your organization's future.

    By adopting these strategies, you can effectively lead your team towards a successful digital transformation, enhancing your visitor's experiences and driving your business forward.

    To explore how RocketRez can be your ally in overcoming resistance and achieving operational excellence, contact us today for a consultation and a demonstration of its transformative capabilities. Unlock the potential of digital transformation for your attractions business.

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    Geraldine Lee
    Content Marketing Specialist