Digital transformation is necessary for all businesses in every one of today’s industries. What does the game plan look like for your business? If you feel a little lost or like efforts are taking place in isolated pockets, we want to highlight two areas of focus to make 2018 the year you rock your digital transformation: digital change agents and a transformation manifesto.
Digital Change Agents
Within your business, who are the individuals that push the most for digital? These are your change agents. They share a passion for tech and are often experts. They advocate for change and search for ways to help their company be more effective through new technologies. These individuals represent your organization’s future. Although they may want to be leading the digital charge, they need your support in order to drive that throughout the organization. Their colleagues might not be so gung ho about doing things differently. They push back. They prefer the status quo because they’re comfortable; they know what to do.
On the other hand, change—especially digital change—demands that you learn new tools, processes and procedures.
You can help your digital change agents by supporting them and helping them navigate these cultural struggles. With your support behind them, you can help bring about “digital literacy” throughout the organization. What does this mean? You can help create a culture of excitement for the possibilities and improvements that digital change provides. Get buy in for the money saved from implementing these changes. Help break down communication silos and bring people together. How? This is where the Digital Transformation Manifesto comes in!
Digital Transformation Manifesto
From a thorough report put out by Altimeter, the author, Brian Solis, put together a list of ten important attributes necessary to create a digital transformation manifesto. Create these for your business, and you’ll set your change agents up for some serious success this year! As Solis described it, this will help you “build a culture of digital innovation… impact[ing] any initiatives that push digital progress and market relevance.” Here are these ten attributes with our brief explanations.
- Embrace being a catalyst. Even though it feels uncomfortable, change agents must step outside of their safe, risk-averse roles, seeking to understand others’ perspectives and finding ways to relate and bring others their own vision of digital change.
- Organize with other change agents. They must search out others to create informal support groups and help meet challenges such as risk-aversion, guarding of information, and silo-ed communication.
- Learn to speak the language of the C-Suite. Digital transformation will fail miserably without support from leadership. Change agents need to share the value that technological changes will bring to the organization. They must make the change feel tangible by creating a story they can share. A compelling narrative goes a long way.
- Make allies. They need to work hard to bring more colleagues on board, reaching out through the business to help make the transformation organization-wide. Once they start gaining trust and building relationships, they’ll gather allies faster and faster. They should focus on working with those who are skeptical, too. Their perspectives bring important discussions.
- Spread digital literacy. Change agents can also serve in the role as digital educators. Colleagues won’t push back against change as much if they feel confident that they will succeed with the new technology. Think of education as the soil, water and sun needed to grow a productive digital transformation garden.
- Create a digital transformation roadmap. Define the long-term goals for your organization and use them to create a roadmap. From this, you can aim for creating a suite of solutions and ideas.
- Link digital transformation efforts to business and individuals’ goals. With the roadmap in place, you can then find stops along the way that match up with specific goals. This step is a big one for getting individual buy-in. Make digital transformation a part of your colleagues’ routines, from every level of the company.
- Set metrics and milestones. This is where you tie it all to a Return On Investment. Now that you have an organization-wide vision, create a clear picture of metrics for measuring the money.
- Democratize ideation. With the money and game plan in place, whether or not you successfully implement it depends on culture. In your organization, where do new ideas originate? Are all employees empowered to suggest change or does it always come from leadership? Make a deliberate effort to create a culture that fosters ideas from all levels of the organization.
- Capitalize on their own inherent “super powers.” Change agents will take their passions elsewhere if they don’t receive support. Help them to capitalize on their super powers, or their DNA, as Solis calls it, which are these five traits: “Those who described themselves as problem solvers, extroverts, and career-minded find comfort in chaos; those who described themselves as critical thinkers, introverts, or cautious expressed the need for internal support and validation to further their efforts; they all described themselves as self-starters; they proactively find reasons to stay committed to whatever initiative they are tackling before giving up; they don’t give up unless they feel that true innovation isn’t possible without significant compromise.”
By creating your digital transformation manifesto and supporting your change agents, 2018 can be the year that your business soars through your transformation. Let us know if we can help creating any of the pieces of your manifesto.