Change Management Is At The Heart Of Digital Transformation

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Change Management Is At The Heart Of Digital Transformation
25 Aug 2021
6 min read

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The phrase "digital transformation" has recently become a popular buzzword. In an effort to become more efficient and cost-effective, more businesses are abandoning inefficient, high-cost systems and procedures in favor of more efficient, low-cost systems and procedures. Many individuals believe that in order to be effective, a company that embraces digital transformation must have technologists at the top. Many other characteristics are even more important for a successful digital transformation.#ThinkWithNiche.

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You Need An Appetite For Risk

Shaking up the established quo entails some risk. Is it going to be successful? Were people prepared for the transition? If you want digital transformation to be successful, your company must be ready and able to accept this risk, as well as have a plan in place to mitigate it. This implies you'll need to make rapid decisions and adapt swiftly to changing conditions in order to mitigate some of the danger. For example, decision-making authority may be delegated from the top to the front lines. So give them the freedom to come up with iterative solutions. To get the most out of any successful transformation, you'll need to instil digital awareness throughout your organisation so that you can invest in improved ways of working that take advantage of distributed decision-making.

Be Willing To Experiment

With that risk comes the need for rapid experimentation. Your digital transformation project is unique, and you have no clue what will be successful. As a result, there will be a lot of tossing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. And, with technology on your side, experimentation is far less frightening than it appears. You have a wealth of data to help you make educated predictions about what will succeed, as well as a variety of tools and accelerators to assist you in spinning up proof-of-concepts. There is no alternative for attempting new things and quickly moving on to the next experiment if one fails. Don't place too much trust in a cure until it's been proven. Not that you'll do it perfect the first time, but that you'll get it close enough to keep going.

Well Trained Teams Are Crucial

Nowadays, no single person is capable of accomplishing anything on their own. Companies are increasingly depending on global teams that cover a wide range of functional areas. However, no matter where you are in the country or the globe, you can discover the best talent in any field. Less enviable, it may be like herding cats at times to keep them all in line. Because this digital transformation project is so complicated, you may have to pay more than ever before to locate qualified candidates. It is critical to remember that training, mentorship, and empowerment are required to get people to work faster, better, and more accurately. To achieve digital transformation, you'll need to invest significantly in training, not just on the technology, but also on how to successfully cooperate across functions and groups, break down problems, and make decisions in the face of ambiguity or uncertainty throughout the process. You'll also need to teach every team member who will have even limited access to a new system on how to use it, how and what data drives operations, and how each function interacts to generate value throughout the organisation. Investing in periodic refreshers and incorporating team feedback on what works and what doesn't, as well as creating a culture of continuous improvement, may be a good idea.

Flip The Leadership Pyramid When Needed

Before you fire your executives and replace them with technocrats, recognise that there is room for both executives and technocrats. Even if they lack a good understanding of cutting-edge technology, seasoned CEOs bring something to the table. Still, you need someone to look at the big picture, your employees' day-to-day life, and how the digital revolution will influence the company's future. Often, a non-technical perspective is required to confirm that technology truly provides value rather than providing a perception of one. Yes, computer-savvy personnel are required throughout your organisation, whether they be outside consultants or strategically positioned tech professionals in each department. Divide the technical literacy requirement into appropriate corporate demands. Rather than having everyone dive deep into the tech stack, it is more important for the workforce to understand how a certain business process is realised in a technical tool and how that tool interacts with other tools to make your organisation run. It is also viable and preferable to empower frontline employees to make decisions rather than delegating them to top executives, who then discuss the issue and propose a solution for the following quarter. The situation may have deteriorated to the point of crisis by then. Instead, delegate power to managers and team leaders to make particular executive decisions, then step back and let them perform their jobs without interruption. These lower-level executives must excel not just in terms of technology, but also in terms of soft skills. They should be aware that Ethel on the supply planning team is vehemently opposed to the software you're integrating, and you may need to work with Joe, who has her wrapped around his tiny finger, to persuade her to join you. They should understand the customer impact if X, Y, and Z features on a new platform are not implemented and be driven to ensure that they are. Through transformation initiatives, your next-generation leaders should learn by doing. Keep an eye out for those who flourish in this endeavour and continue to advance professionally.

Bottom Line: You Need Digital Acumen

It is more important for CEOs to be digitally aware than it is for them to be technology gurus. According to the Harvard Business Review, less than 20% of businesses have this rare combination of technology and management talents. To me, digital acumen entails making use of the data and pattern recognition available to you, thinking end-to-end across value streams, and accepting personal accountability for the collective goal you're working towards. It is determining how this digital transformation will impact the organisation as a whole in the long run, as well as how it will generate value.