Successful Digital Transformation

Posted 14 June 2017 12:00 AM by Katya Linossi, Managing Director @ ClearPeople

Digital transformation is affecting every business in every industry. The way technology is driving business forward is imperative to success and gaining competitive advantage. Yet few businesses understand exactly how to achieve digital transformation, often seeing it as a project to be implemented by a particular team rather than a roadmap of initiatives and a process of fundamental change. When reading the first chapter of the book “A model for change in business, Government and Our Community” by Jeffrey M. Hiatt, I was struck by how relevant and simple the message is in terms of change. Specifically, how this can be applied directly to digital transformation and what we at ClearPeople have been successfully helping our clients with for a number of years. 

The premise is that after years of extensive research, the root cause of failed change is not due to inadequate training or communication, nor is it due to poor project management. Successful change, at its core, is rooted in something much simpler: How to facilitate change with one person. (1)

Who is this one person? 

Essentially, it is change at an individual level. The individual level begins with the chief executive and senior management team. If they are excited about transforming through the use of digital, it not only helps to drive success but can also encourage the whole organisation to get behind the change.

The individual level also refers to employees in an organisation who need to understand why change is being made and the risks of not changing but also importantly, what’s in it for him or her? 

You may be thinking to yourself “this is obvious,” but you won’t believe how many times this advice is easily forgotten. 

Focus on user experience

Following from the individual, a common theme amongst our clients is a lack of focus on user experience. It sounds simple, but many companies focus on the organisation’s internal priorities rather than engaging employees, clients and partners with the resources and processes to support transformation.

What does ‘digital transformation’ mean?

Digital transformation can take many forms from improving internal processes to developing new services, so it is important to make sure that you are clear about what your organisation expects from digital. Organisations also need to focus less on a digital strategy but rather a business strategy with digital running through it.

It’s not all about technology

Another obvious statement, but we often see projects where the IT department has sole responsibility for digital transformation, without full support from the business. 

Digital transformation is a process, not a goal.

Digital transformation is a journey with connected goals, that support the vision of using technology to improve performance.
There are a number of more tips that can contribute to successful digital transformation. However, what I hope you took away from this post is to view digital transformation as a change manager would…and that is to start with the individual. 

(1) A model for change in business, Government and Our Community – Jeffrey M. Hiatt


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