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Implementing a digital transformation strategy is one of the most pressing challenges for today’s business leaders. Embarking on your digital transformation journey fundamentally changes the way your organization operates, and if you tackle transformation head-on, it can pay off big for years to come. Digital transformation is much more than simply implementing new information technologies and software in your organization; Technology is simply the facilitator of that transformation. An even bigger change (and some would say a bigger part of this process) is the cultural shift that a company undergoes at all levels, from team structures to a whole new mindset on how to use technology to improve and optimize workflows.
The central reason to undergo a digital transformation is to effectively reorient the business around a holistic view of the customer: what they want, need and expect from your company. To do this, you need to ditch the rulebook from the days before mobile when customers had fewer options (and fewer opportunities to walk away). Today’s clients demand to be engaged and cared for in a totally different way than in previous years.
All leaders know that no change happens without some resistance. However, many companies are concerned that implementing a digital transformation will cause internal paralysis rather than sustained growth and success. And even if they acknowledge that short-term disruption can lead to long-term profit, the potential turmoil around a digital transformation program raises some very real concerns. Most people don’t like change for the sake of change. Fortunately, digital transformation benefits customers as much as it benefits your own employees, and it’s important to communicate them properly. If employees aren’t onboard, leaders and stakeholders can quickly become an “army of one” fighting alone in the battle of digital transformation. They need your vision for success to filter through and be accepted by the larger team. A well-implemented digital transformation program can offer endless opportunities for teams to improve their skills and take control of their own careers like never before. And leaders must communicate the value of these changes, as well as the positive impact they will have on personal and professional development that will allow them to thrive.
All members of an organization should feel as if they are part of the digital transformation journey and the success it will generate for the company. And the vision must be communicated consistently and clearly – in a way, it must become the guiding light for the entire organization so that employees and customers understand the changes that are taking place and why they benefit everyone. Providing a forum for a constant stream of feedback is another great way to get your entire organization involved in the process. Additionally, leaders need to not only communicate top-down, but also allow ideas and changes in that vision to be discussed by the general population of employees. This will better drive participation and a feeling of shared success. Leaders also have to walk and talk, and create an understanding for everyone in the company that everyone is together. The success of this project will be the success that generates a better offer for everyone: customers, employees and the entire value chain.