What’s the most important thing for leaders to consider before embarking on their transformation journey?
In this special episode of MING Labs’ podcast Lost In Transformation, we compiled a couple of statements from inspiring digital leaders on what they define as the most important thing to consider before taking on a transformation journey.
Listen to this episode for all the views on what’s especially important before we take on the journey of transformation. Should we first align on our objectives? Or explain the journey’s impact on the organization and the teams? Or choose a completely different approach? Get inspired by what these digital leaders had to say.
3 Main Takeaways From This Episode
01 Align first on clear outcomes and define concrete steps to achieve them. Many digital leaders emphasized the value of first defining goals and results, and the concrete procedures required to achieve such results. Ee Ling Lim from 500 Startups detailed the importance of SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Being able to monitor all aspects of an innovative plan against quantifiable metrics is critical, in addition to a supportive mindset within all stakeholders of the organization. Olaf Frank from MunichRe also stressed having a clear cut vision and a definable place that follows the digital transformation process. It may be difficult to recognize the ideal end result immediately. But having a grasp of intermediate steps throughout the process will surely provide a sense of direction and help gather support for necessary initiatives.
02 Communicate clearly with your team to explain the journey’s impact on them and the organization. Outlining the level of impact to members of the company was highlighted multiple times by our leaders. Scott Anthony from Innosight referenced the importance of developing a story to easily communicate why the organization needs to change. Plus, transformation should not be viewed as external work but rather a fleshed out vision statement that provides value for the organization and everyone in it. So the message that is communicated to staff and teams is extremely important. Florian Bankoley from Bosch supports this notion in “so what is really your target beyond ‘I want to transform something’? Which is nice, but what tangible results do you expect, and do you have full commitment and support from the top down?”
03 Digitization vs. Digital Transformation: Be aware that different ways of digital transformation require different approaches. The complexities of a digital transformation process can’t be overlooked. Our leaders stressed the value of understanding explicit elements that make up such a process. Bjoern Heinz from Chemovator suggests “to see the larger context. Because digitalization is connected to a lot of buzzwords, a lot of fears and anxiety about what’s going to happen.” Understanding the overarching picture and the context of all micro and macro aspects that influence transformation instead of technical buzzwords should be what leaders need to prioritize. Sam Hall from Rainmaking carries the message further: “Are you trying to evolve or improve your existing business model? Or are you trying to explore or adopt new business models?” The tools of digital transformation should be selected based on pre-established objectives, which will inform the direction for the process: Either explore, or adopt a new business model.
Related Reading: How would you define Digital Transformation?