Across all industries, from consumer goods to health care, manufacturing to financial services, companies are going digital. Digital technologies from social media to mobile computing to big data to the Internet of everything are transforming businesses in these industries.
But how many of them are successful? As per surveys this number is less than 10%. Are you one of them? It all depends on how you lead the digital transformation efforts. Here are some of the traits you need to show to take the organization on the digital ride:
- Start the Digital as company wide initiative and not in small departments. Get the commitments from the board of directors and CEO for digital.
- Develop a Vision & Mission statements that are in line with company growth strategy. Ensure it does not remain only as floor branding and marketing. Describe how the company will actually change: How will you engage differently with customers? How will you rethink your operations? What new business models are possible?
- Bring in the cultural change that is required for Digital Transformation. People are extremely important in this roller-coaster ride. Many employees have seen visions come and go. Focus on communicating the vision and helping people know what it means to them
- Experiment a fail fast approach with data driven measurements. As W Edwards Deming’s quote says – 'In God we trust, all others bring data'. Dare to rake risks and take decisions based on the data and move on.
- Connect with industry leaders & influencers to understand what work and what not. What are the current trends? Keep yourself updated.
- Simplify the subject so everyone in the company can understand and contribute to your efforts.
- Connect with partners who support your vision – and not only external third party technology vendors but your own customers and most important your employees.
- Lastly remember Digital is a long term commitment. Don’t cut the investments & pull back employees on billable roles in just one quarter saying it’s not working. This is the mistake most of the companies are doing. Nurture the efforts like a new born baby as she takes over a year to walk on its own. Have patience to see the results.
There are various successful examples of Digital Transformation in the industry from Starbucks to Uber, from Netflix to Nestle with their leaders showing these and many more characteristics. My favorite saying for leaders now is 'Uber them before they Kodak you'.