The human component of digital transformation is more important than you might think


Getting the digital transformation right takes a lot of coordination. Leaders need to align people, processes, and technology to meet initial goals and have a plan to support and continually improve what is being transformed.

Prioritization can often be misleading. After all, it’s called digital transformation, which implies that the most important components are related to technology. While data, platforms and technology infrastructure are certainly important parts of any transformation, organizations that underestimate the people component of such an initiative are preparing for failure, short term, long term. term or both.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why the human component of digital transformation might be more important than you think.

Leadership paves the way for digital transformation success

Let’s start at the top. The critical need for leadership buy-in and support for any large-scale initiative is well documented. Yet many organizations go ahead with their projects with only half-hearted support, or executives who claim to offer support, only to back down when it comes to prioritizing quick financial gains over long-term investment.

Digital transformation initiatives are no different. Everyone from the CEO to the grassroots needs to be aligned with team requirements, schedule and budgets for true success to happen. When leadership teams are misaligned, it will quickly become evident as parts of a transformation can move forward successfully while other areas suffer.

The people component of digital transformation begins with how leaders support the initiative in tough and good times, as well as how they respond to the inevitable challenges that will arise. Not only do individual department or division heads need to take responsibility and support this business for the good of the teams they oversee, but they also need to support their fellow leaders so that the organization can emerge from the transformation stronger and better. resilient.

After all, digital transformation is all about preparing a business for long-term success and sustainability. While some of the changes are relegated to technology and systems, many are more human in nature and require leaders to see their roles in a new light. It often starts with their support for an initiative that will set the stage for the future of the business.

Related Article: Forget Digital Transformation – Just Go Digital

Good working relationships help overcome process challenges

I have consulted, interviewed on my podcast, and chatted with countless people in organizations that were starting, currently engaging, and had recently taken major milestones in their digital transformation initiatives. While every business and story is unique, there’s a common thread: None of them said it was easy.

The real test of any relationship are the hard times, not the easy times. Since every digital transformation initiative will encounter at least a few hurdles down the road, it stands to reason that your teams will have conflict.

Thus, one cannot underestimate how a strong corporate culture aligned with common goals can better manage a digital transformation than a silo and disconnected transformation. It’s worth considering investing in teamwork and organizational culture before you even begin your digital transformation. Just as your processes and platforms transform, your team often transforms and redefines their roles and how they determine success.

Just as a transformation initiative is a chance to put leadership on the same page, take the opportunity to make meaningful changes to the way your employees align with your mission and with each other. Your transformation initiative will overcome technical challenges with much less difficulty if you do.

Related article: Shattering Myths of Digital Transformation

Long-term success requires teamwork

Digital transformation is never really over, if you’ve thought about it the right way. That said, there often comes a point when you’ve finished the basics and it’s time for continuous improvement and optimization.

Many organizations fail to plan for the latter. They might even come to a “stopping point” where they claim to have succeeded, when in reality what they call “done” is just the start of a new era for their organization.

Long-term success requires not only maintaining the processes and systems put in place during a transformation initiative, but also maintaining the human component. This means strong teamwork, a culture focused on customer experience, problem identification and resolution, and a continuous improvement mindset.

What do you want: short-term chaos or long-term success?

Make no mistake: data issues, technical integration challenges, and strategic decisions and actions are all key components of any digital transformation. If you don’t consider and take into account the human component, however, you are missing out on a critical aspect that could mean the difference between short-term chaos and long-term success.

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