In today’s workplace, traditional delineations are disappearing as the various lines of business are weaving together ever more thanks to the impact of digital transformation. But the weaving is not always seamless or harmonious. In fact, often, it is quite a fraught experience; intentions may be there, but awareness and alignment is often off track. Ensuring everyone is symbiotically working towards a brighter future for the organization truly is the desired outcome. Here are 7 suggestions for making your digital transformation journey a successful one:
#1 Define Digital Transformation
Despite all the research and whitepapers on the subject… everyone has a different definition of digital transformation. Therefore, before even beginning any changes or restructuring, it is highly beneficial first to establish both an explanation and an understanding of how it applies to your organization. Ensuring that everyone understands what the organization is transforming from (current state) and what the future state of transformation will look like is key. An often looked over ingredient is ensuring that once the vision is cast, that the people within the organization actually understand what they are required to do differently now, and if they don’t have the capabilities – how will they be supporting in obtaining them.
#2 Don’t Jump on The Trend Bandwagon
While it is advantageous to understand the current buzzwords, always remember who is taking the journey. Organizations must still look to what applies to their situation and address those accordingly. Conduct a comprehensive review of all your current processes and procedures and examine them for bottlenecks and other problem areas. Look to solve these first. Otherwise, you risk duplicating an inferior system. Looking within the organization and bringing the people along to help solve those bottlenecks will help the change journey progress.
#3 Build A “Dream Team”
Look around at the talent you currently have and then complete an assessment to see what skills they are missing or could benefit from enhancing. As part of this internal audit, be sure to pay careful attention to the digital aspect of the skills review. But take precaution against assuming because of where they work, a department or team will either take the lead or direct the digital aspect of the transformation. EVERYONE has a new job/new role.
#4 Empower Everyone
A successful transformation is one where everyone in the organization takes responsibility and manages their change. Instilling this belief of shared responsibility is critical. Start by holding conversations with the people on the frontline - those closest to the customer. Develop a culture where everyone understands the value of the change both to the organization and their role and is therefore supporting and adapting as needed.
#5 Encourage A Mindset of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is a collaborative process and it’s critical to foster a team mentality. In many organizations, the IT team is often the lead on this as they are more familiar with working on a collective goal. If this is the case in your company, leverage this experience to encourage and assist other departments in switching not just mindsets but workflows and new ways of working.
#6 Holistic Organizational Approach
One of the critical enablers of change is understanding. Developing people in what’s known as “power skills”, aka modern soft skills training can serve as a cornerstone of a successful transformation. When people can understand what they are doing and why, then they can begin to do their jobs differently.
#7 Model New Behaviors
It is everyone’s responsibility to play a part in the digital transformation journey. However, it is particularly incumbent upon executives to demonstrate to the rest of the organization their contributions to the change. For example, in one energy company, leadership was aware that to implement a new data strategy, they must first develop a better understanding of the data’s significance. To do this, each executive, regardless of their role, undertook data training and became data citizens. Their willingness to acknowledge that they needed training opened up the possibilities for everyone in the organization and helped ensure the successful implementation of a new strategy and model the behavior of continuous learning across the organization -setting the stage for success.