5 key steps for effective digital transformations
1. Encourage good behavior
Digitally savvy companies have leaders who encourage teamwork, explain their purpose with clarity, and promote an environment of openness and sharing. The particular organizational structure you have in place is less important than getting employee and leaders to embrace these behaviors.
In her book The Management Shift, Vlatka Hlupic shows that many successful companies share a management style characterized by an open mindset, an unbounded culture, strong team cohesion, inspirational leaders, a strong sense of purpose, and passion for the work the company does.
These are the characteristics that 21st century leaders and managers need to handle rapidly changing business landscapes.
2. Think holistically
3. Be agile
You need a plan to integrate your digital transformation project so that it works with your legacy systems. Your plan should draw on agile thinking while still satisfying the financial demands of the C-suite. Think in terms of short time scales and multiple iterations. Don't fear experimentation or failure.
The Forrester research already mentioned highlights agility as one of the top five metrics to measure the success of digital programs. True agility requires you to think like a startup. First, identify the problem that needs to be solved with a new digital approach. Next, develop a minimum viable product that you can implement. Use the resulting feedback to improve and iterate your product.
Pursue multiple, parallel streams of change with a six- to eight-week cycle or shorter. Focus on achievable outcomes rather than individual tasks and steps, and be sure to foster regular communication at all levels across the process.
4. Build a social network
True digital transformation touches all of a company's teams and processes. You need sound cross-functional governance to get everyone on board with the disruption that's to come.
Our research shows that organizations that have implemented some form of enterprise social network or social collaboration platform, such as GitHub or Slack, are more successful with their transformation than those that don't. This kind of communication harnesses the collective intelligence of teams in ways that aren't possible with old communications technologies such as e-mail.
5. Create your transformation story
Unless you are a digital native startup, your digital transformation will most likely be a complex series of incremental and strategic initiatives that fundamentally change the company over time. To get employees, customers, and investors on board, leadership needs to communicate the big idea—the “why” of what you are trying to achieve by reinventing your business.
Integrating digital transformation: Lessons for leaders
- Digital transformation requires an open mindset, an unbounded culture, strong team cohesion, inspirational leaders, a strong sense of purpose, and passion for the work the company does.
- You need agile thinking, a mix of incremental and strategic initiatives, and short development cycles.
- Leaders must communicate why they are reinventing the company so that everyone is on board with the overall goal.
This article/content was written by the individual writer identified and does not necessarily reflect the view of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.