According to an article published in The Economist, “incorporating data-driven services into more aspects of life”, will be the most tangible consequence of the long-lasting Covid-19 pandemic. Digital transformation is expected to have greater importance for companies in the future, in the near future.
A 2019 survey of CEOs, directors, and some senior executives found that their #1 concern was the risks involved with digital transformation. However, 70% of their initiatives against the movement failed to meet its objectives. Of the $1.3 trillion spent on new efforts in 2019, sadly, $900 billion was wasted.
Basically, digital transformation teams fail, despite the possibility of growth and efficiency improvements, because people don’t have the mindset to change. With flawed organizational practices, it is very difficult to change completely. Also, digitizing will magnify flaws, only to make them appear bigger.
What is Digital Transformation?
When you bring a new system into an organization, it just looks a little hyper with implementation plans, specifications, and calculations.
Digital change is one of the most important processes today, ensuring organizations are relevant as well as profitable in this competitive marketplace.
The process involves integrating innovative technologies and services into existing business practices and streamlining operations. The idea is to improve and add greater value to the final product. It involves adding new tools and applications, storing data, recording information, and many new techniques.
That of course, the digital aspect. But, if you think about it, we are talking about “transformation”, which means introducing innovative ways to work with existing teams.
Anyone willing to buy a new set of digital suites with the latest tools, but who’s going to run them? The key here is to ensure that the talent, or people, are onboard and the company culture is ready to adapt. Successful transformation is change management, and only people can make it happen.
Engage Your Team
Every change is difficult. If you want to introduce a major change in your organization, you have to make sure everyone is with you, and not just your leadership team. Yes, you can’t let your team make big decisions for your organization, but involving your team in a process can lead to better results.
A McKinsey study shows that while 84% of CEOs are dedicated to major transformational change, only about 45% of frontline employees agree. Obviously, connecting the dots is the main obstacle to implementing a successful strategy.
There are many ways to achieve this:
• Take feedback from the team about the changes you implemented
• Keep your team on track with the implementation strategy
• Incentivize the team with internal marketing to convince the most reluctant team members of the new technology
The transformation to a digital landscape can be potentially beneficial for an organization, but only if every team member agrees and accepts the change. Make sure you have a positive digital transformation team that understands why it’s important to adopt a new technology and its benefits.
Invest & Train Your Team
Going digital will have its hurdles. Some team members may not be as tech savvy as others. However, you can’t leave them. To take them to that level, a lot of training is required to help them adapt to the latest technologies and tools.
Remember, people have different ways of learning too, and the pace may be different. For example, some team members may understand a concept in a single demo session, while others may need several days of training to understand a new technology.
Experiment with different training materials, such as online courses and hands-on learning, and give them the flexibility to choose how they want to learn.
It may take some time to learn how to use new technology for better results, especially for team members who don’t have a natural inclination towards technology. Investing in training is a surefire way to capitalize on this transformation.
The Digital Transformation Framework Doesn’t Change Everything
The digital transformation framework is not about changing everything at once.
When you start changing your business, it’s easy to get carried away. However, it is important to know about the technology to be adopted. You can consider the one that employees find easier to implement, and be selective about choosing the best way.
Anything that glitters is no better. When you plan to digitally transform your business processes, it is only to simplify work processes and facilitate your team members. So, don’t make it complicated. If you have any doubts about the change, consult the front line staff.
For example, if you want to adopt a new platform for online communication, but you can’t decide between Zoom, Teams, and Slack, consult with your staff and take their opinion.
Expand Your Vision
Have no myopic vision when it comes to major transformations. Digital transformation services aim to make life simpler and better. A successful transformation strategy is about introducing new changes into the business to make it more efficient and reduce the workload of employees.
If executed right, such a digital revolution can lead to better work practices, increase customer value and reduce team workloads. If your digital steps don’t tick all the boxes, something is wrong.
Bring Change Right from Above
The concept of grassroots change is intuitive. However, in reality, change is more likely to occur if pushed directly from above. Again, it does not suggest a hierarchical or autocratic structure or culture that breeds fear. It simply implies leadership, both transformational and transactional.
When it comes to digital change, the main implication is that no major changes or even improvements to the organization are possible unless you select and develop top leaders to begin with. It is clear that leadership, good or bad, flows downwards to influence every aspect of the organization. The only factor that most determines the effectiveness of organizational transformation is the CEO or the top leader of the organization. Of course, industry, culture, context, heritage, people, and technological materials are real, just like any other resource.
However, these are a bit too similar among competitors, while the values, mindset, integrity, and competence of the most senior leaders stand out as key differentiating factors. Needless to say, everything in an organization can be imitated, but not talent. So invest in top talent for greater impact, that’s where you will get the most value.
Technology is about doing more with minimum resources, but governance is only effective when technology is paired with the best of human skills. As technological disruption has led to automation and the elimination of outdated jobs, it has created more jobs. This is precisely why innovation is also called ‘creative destruction’. Every creative aspect of innovation depends on people. So harnessing human adaptability to upgrade and retrain the workforce can improve technology and people at the same time. Simply put: brilliant innovations will be irrelevant if we don’t have a skilled enough workforce to implement them, and the most inspiring human minds are useless if they aren’t connected to technology. The core implication is – when leaders want to invest in new technology, they should consider investing in the people who make the technology useful.