Digital transformation starts with a change in mindset. How much time and resource should an organisation commit to making that mind shift? It’s said that “strategy is where we create our competitive advantage”. How much money, how much time and how many people are dedicated to finding new competitive advantage?
According to Wikipedia, Innovation can simply be defined as a "new idea, more-effective device or process." However, they also go on to say that innovation is often also viewed as the "application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.” In my experience, in the context of Digital Transformation, I think none of these explanations work.
The Emperor’s New Clothes is a short tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Anderson about 2 weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for position, stupid or incompetent. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that they don’t see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as “unfit for their positions, stupid or incompetent.” Finally a child cries out “but he isn’t wearing anything at all.”
The first challenges are cutting through the noise and getting to the heart of the matter. The IT sector pretend transformation is all to do with technology (usually the box of tricks they’re selling). They frequently publish blogs and articles to convince you to “transform your business by moving to the cloud”. Most mainstream IT advice will at best create operational efficiencies but not transform the organisation.
According to Stephen Covey, the author of best selling business/self-help book - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, if we’re to live a fulfilled life we must ‘sharpen the saw’. His 7th habit focuses on our ability to renew ourselves through exercise and spirituality as well as education. But just how good are we at adapting to change, modifying our habits, or expanding our minds, especially as we get older? The answer is that we’re pretty good at it if we choose to be.
“If we understand what the technology is capable of, we will be in a better place to tell you how our organisation can leverage it” - says one business leader. “This is what we want the business to achieve and how we’re going to get there. Go find technology that helps make this happen” - says another.
Digital innovators have a culture of sustaining innovation. They consider innovation so important and such a fundamental part of the business that they process, resource, reward, manage, lead, measure and communicate it. In other words, they weave it through the very fabric of their organisation’s culture. These digital innovators bridge the gap between theory and action.
Creating Digital Transformation involves these 5 organisational building blocks: Digital business strategy & culture Staff and customer engagement Processes and innovation Technology Data and Analytics. Neglecting any one of these has certain consequences. If we detect any of these symptoms in our organisations we can diagnose which areas of the business still need some attention.
Does digital transformation have a positive impact on our people? What measures or outcomes would we look for and how much does it matter? Motivation is a great place to start. How willing are we to get up and go to work each day? How much satisfaction do we derive from our jobs? It matters because work gives us an opportunity to do something we're good at and be rewarded for it. What could be better for morale than that? As it happens, that there is a great deal of synergy between human drive and the drivers of digital transformation. Digital transformation simultaneously boosts motivation whilst eliminating the things that cause us frustration and disengagement.
Design Thinking is currently enjoying a surge in popularity and not without good