Adapting to the new world and its ways of working is always a challenge. Especially for the organization that is still in the old Brick & Mortar ways of working. As a leader when you take up the task of Digital transformation, it is not always easy because you have a group of people & systems who still work in the old ways, on the other side you have technologies of the future and new ways of working.
“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd, at the same time make sure his team is entertaining them”... Leading digital transformation is almost like this.
You have to lead and implement the new ways of working and system at the same time entertain, encourage, onboard the old systems, People, Processes, and ways of working.
In order to take the people to a new level, you have to first make them realize where they stand. Then you have to teach them how they have to change and why they have to change. So the first step is “Awareness”. Awareness of the current people, systems, and processes. Then we have to make them realize where they are and the changes you will need in people, processes, and systems.
Let's look at some steps by which we can do this:
Don't create a vision without knowing where you are. There is saying
“ Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others”,
in order to create a vision you have to first see what others see. That means understanding the strategic gaps, technologies, and processes used by the people.
This will help you in seeing what they see and in creating a clear “Vision”. Even though that vision is invisible to others, it will be easy for you to make them understand and accept.
2. Get the right people involved
Once you have the vision the next step is to start selling it. But the question is to whom?
“ In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”.
Most of the old organizations will be heavily hierarchical. So get the leaders on board and make them realize the vision. If you are able to align with the leaders the success rate will increase more than 1.5 times.
“People without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”
Before you start transformation understand the culture. Because as part of the digital transformation you have to create a new culture and that culture has to take inspiration and learning from the past. This way you are aligned with the leaders and you are not stopping there instead, you are touching the roots and slowly transforming the culture.
4. Gather the Right people
“ With the right mindset, with the right people, with the right tools, and with the right support, things happen”.
You have to look for the right qualities in those people. Like willing to learn, willing to adapt, team players, open to challenges and changes. This will help you to evolve continuously.
5. Choose the right Technology
“ Technology has to be invented or adopted”.
There are certain systems and functionalities which you can achieve by adopting the right technology platform. At the same time, every organization needs a certain amount of innovation. For those innovative ideas or exceptions, you have to build something of your own. This adoption will also include embracing legacy systems.
The better way to transform is not just by changing everything which is old. Instead, it is done by embracing legacy. So invent and adopt.
Don't think with these four-step we are done with digital transformation. It’s just the beginning of a journey in the right direction.
“Digital transformation is a Direction and not a Destination”