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Digital transformation is all about people not technology

iStock / Getty Images Plus / Mykyta Dolmatov

Jane Judd

President, Change Management Institute

Ensuring workforces are trained to adopt digital transformation successfully and establishing a workplace culture and leadership that reflects this.

The definition of the outcomes and roadmap for achieving it should not be driven by the technology team or an army of external consultants. The answers about what is needed and what is possible lie with your customers and your workforce.

You may need some help in facilitating this conversation and understanding what platforms or solutions may be on offer. Don’t confuse the desired people outcomes with a technical solution or you will not get the value you are seeking.

Customer at the heart

Bring the voice of the customer to the centre of the conversation. Let them tell you why you need to change and how it will work for them. Listen, listen, listen. Share these insights with as much of your workforce as possible and let them help shape the solution to the defined business outcomes.

Cross functional teams

Understand the value of cross functional teams to help breakthrough the barriers of how you have always done things and what is truly possible. Create diversity in thinking and mix up your teams in addressing customer expectations.

Nothing binds a team more than a shared goal and, in a business, setting a shared goal around the customer is doubly powerful.

Evolve the solution

Iterate the design and implementation. Whatever project management disciplines you use, engage your teams in solution design and planning the implementation for their part of the business. “No involvement, no commitment.” Modern change methods involve education, problem solving and co-creation throughout the design and deployment cycles. The more your workforce can contribute and shape the solution to meet customer needs, the greater the adoption.

Dialogue for change

Educate on the mindset changes required not just the technology. Learning new tools can be relatively easy, but shifting for example, from a data mindset to an insights mindset can be much harder and requires greater exploration of what good looks like from a customer perspective. This requires education through meaningful dialogue on why the changes are necessary and what success will look like using scenarios developed by the audience.

So how do we engage a whole organisation without reaching consensus on everything? Be clear on the role you are asking people to play, ensure everyone understands how and when they can contribute and where decision making lies. With clarity on how this affects the customer for the better and understanding their role in this, your teams will make this work and contribute their best.

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