Leadership Insights

Leading the Charge for Your Company’s Digital Transformation

Digital transformations can come with big rewards—greater business efficiency, a stronger company culture, and improved customer value—but only when done correctly. 

Every year, companies set out lofty goals to transform their business through new technological solutions, only to end up with an expensive, time-consuming project that yields little to no return on investment.

 To prevent your company from making this costly mistake, take time to understand what digital transformation means, how it will impact the entirety of your company, and what you should (and shouldn’t) do when it comes to planning and implementing your digital transformation strategy. 

What Is Digital Transformation (And What Is It Not)?

Most people think of digital transformation as adopting and implementing new technology, but it is much more than that. Digital transformation doesn’t just introduce a new app or software into the business; it creates digitized solutions that fundamentally change how the business operates. True digital transformation involves changes to your business processes, workforce, supply chain, and even how you serve your customers.

Take Netflix, for example. What started as a DVD delivery service is now a $158 billion digital streaming service, thanks to a strategic and successful digital transformation. Not only did the company implement new technologies, but it used that technology as a catalyst for completely changing how the company operates, shifting its workforce and providing a new experience to its customers.

The 4 Common Mistakes Digital Transformation Leaders Make

Of course, achieving the same success as Netflix isn’t an easy feat. Most companies that attempt digital transformation lack the foresight and strategic planning necessary to mitigate the challenges of massive business transformation, resulting in more than $900 billion of lost investment.

Most failed attempts can be attributed to 1 of the 4 common pitfalls:

  • The focus is on deploying a tool rather than implementing fundamental system changes that solve real business problems
  • The executive team is unaligned on the purpose, importance, and prioritization of the initiative
  • The DT leader fails to cultivate a company culture that embraces transformation, one of the most important indicators for DT success or failure
  • The chosen metrics don’t reflect continual progress, resulting in lost momentum

Knowing what not to do when it comes to DT can help you develop a robust strategy that anticipates and mitigates these challenges.

Start The Digital Transformation Process

Is your company ready to transform? Discover what it takes to achieve a successful digital transformation in the “Fast Tracking Digital: White Paper.” In this paper, we discuss the nine critical questions every digital transformation leader should be asking and how you can use those answers to build a roadmap forward. Read more here.

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The Digital Transformation Challenge

How to Get Your Team on Board

Organizations today are under more pressure than ever to seek furious digital transformation. In fact, roughly 90% of businesses see a need to adjust their business models, or have already made transformations, to remain economically stable by 2023.

As businesses and clients alike shift their buying preferences and patterns online, resulting in increased connectivity and data availability, businesses need to make themselves more agile to better understand and capitalize on these changes.

Successful transformations start with the right strategy, firm leadership commitment, governance model, technology architecture, operating model design, data and analytics foundation, and change management plans—but challenges can quickly surface during execution.

Let's take a deeper look at some challenges companies face in digital transformation.

Digital Transformation Challenges

Every day, we, as businesses, face new and daunting digital transformation challenges. For example, how can we create compelling customer experiences? How can we move to the cloud without disrupting our operations? How can we develop artificial intelligence applications without sacrificing security? Below are the most common challenges for companies embarking on digital transformations.

Defining a Clear Value Proposition

The first challenge is setting expectations and agreeing on what digital transformation means for the company. Defining a clear value proposition is essential for getting Team members—including senior executives—on board with the changes required for successful execution. Furthermore, building a shared sense of ownership and responsibility for the transformation is critical.

You should tailor value propositions to each business function and stakeholder group to ensure clarity and buy-in from everyone involved. For example, the value proposition for the sales Team might focus on improved customer engagement through self-service channels. In contrast, the finance Team might be more interested in increased operational efficiencies and cost savings.

Lack of Vision

The second challenge is the lack of an overarching architecture or roadmap that outlines how all the moving parts will work together during digitization. Too often, initiatives are siloed within individual business functions or IT departments without considering how they will fit into the bigger picture.

A common goal is integrating new applications and capabilities into existing systems. This significant technological feat would require careful planning before beginning execution. Mapping out an architectural blueprint early on helps align stakeholders around a common vision and establishes technical standards to achieve objectives down the road. The blueprint also provides guidance when investing in enabling technologies such as cloud services, artificial intelligence (AI), or application programming interfaces (APIs). 

Team Conflict

The third challenge occurs when traditional mindsets clash with new ways of working through digital transformations. To resolve this disconnect between perception and reality, it is vital to define what success looks like for everyone involved—not just senior executives but also front-line employees who will actually be executing the changes.

Strategies to Get Your Team on Board

Digital transformations are a necessary part of any company's growth but can often be met with resistance from Team members who are hesitant to change how they do things. Below are six strategies to help get your Team on board with digital transformations:

1.   Have a Plan and Set Measurable Goals

The first step is to have a plan. What are you looking to accomplish with this digital transformation? What specific goals do you hope to achieve? Once you have a clear plan, you can begin setting measurable goals. This will give you something to work towards and measure your success.

2.   Communicate Clearly and Often

It's also important that you communicate clearly and often with your Team. They need to understand what is happening, why it's happening, and how it will impact them. The more information they have, the better equipped they'll be to make the transition. Make sure you're accessible and answer any questions they may have.

3.   Lead by Example

Lead by example. If you want your Team to buy into this digital transformation, you must show them you're all in. Be the first one to try out new strategies and technologies. Show them you're excited about the changes and believe in their benefits. If you lead by example, they're more likely to follow suit.

4.   Get Everyone On the Same Page

Get everyone on the same page—literally. Then, sit down with your Team and lay out the case for change. Explain how digital transformation can benefit the company and each Team member. Use data to back up your claims and be sure to address any concerns your Team may have.

5.   Develop a Plan of Action

Once you have buy-in from your Team, it's time to put together a plan of action. What specific changes do you want to implement? How will these changes improve the way your company does business? Again, data is key here. Build a business case for each proposed change, and ensure your Team understands how it will help the company meet its goals.

6.   Roll Out with Intention

Finally, roll out the changes slowly and deliberately. Trying to implement too many changes at once is a recipe for disaster—resistance will only increase, and you'll likely end up undoing all your hard work. Instead, start with one or two small changes, then build on that success over time. You can overcome even the toughest digital transformation challenges with careful planning and execution.

Final Thoughts

Finding solutions to the digital transformation challenge is essential for companies that want to stay competitive in today's market. But often, the biggest challenge isn't finding the right solution but rather getting your team on board. Following these steps can help to overcome resistance and get your team on board with the corporate change.

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Fostering a Clear Vision

How to Foster a Clear Company Vision for Transformation: Four Steps to Create Shared Goals

Your company's vision is its guiding light—a shared goal that everyone in the organization can rally around. In today's rapidly changing business landscape, it's more important than ever for companies to have a clear and concise vision for their digital transformations.

According to Research&Markets (2020), the global digital transformation market is expected to increase rapidly, growing from $469.8 billion in 2020 to an astounding $1,009.8 billion by 2025--that's a compound annual growth rate of 16.5% over five years.

So, how can you foster a clear vision amid your digital transformation?

Based on our Clients' successful transformations, we identified four key components that must be present to ensure your teams remain aligned with a strategic vision amid a digital transformation.

Define your company's purpose. The first step in creating a vision is to define your company's purpose—why it exists. Having this clear vision to guide you through times of change is essential. Begin by asking, "What issue are we trying to solve?" Once you have answered, you can begin to craft your vision statement.

1. Communicate the vision.

Once your company's vision is defined, it's important to communicate it to everyone in the organization—from the C-suite down to the front-line employees. Employees need to understand the company's goals to align their daily tasks with those goals. The best way to communicate the vision is to have face-to-face conversations with employees and ensure the company's values reflect in its day-to-day operations.

2. Ensure alignment.

It's not enough to communicate the company's vision; you also need to ensure everyone in the organization aligns with it by involving employees in the decision-making process. When employees feel they have a say in how the company is run, they're more likely to buy into the vision of your digital transformation and be committed to achieving it.
Another way to ensure alignment is by setting clear goals and measuring progress. This will help keep everyone focused on the end goal—the shared goal that unites the entire organization.

3. Be prepared for change.

The business landscape is constantly changing, so you must prepare your company for big and small changes. Preparing for change is having a flexible plan that can be adapted as needed. Being prepared for change also means being open to new ideas and ways of doing things—something that can be difficult for established organizations that are used to doing things a certain way.
The key is to balance being open-minded and focusing on the ultimate goal. This shared goal brings everyone together amidst all the changes in today's business world.

Final thoughts

Fostering a clear vision is more important than ever in today's rapidly changing business landscape. By following these four guidelines, however, you can ensure that your organization has a shared goal that everyone can rally around amid all the changes in your industry.



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Transformation Quick Wins

4 Steps to Achieve Your Business Goals in Record Time

“Where you can have some quick wins along the way, of these smaller things that are low cost, low risk, low reward, especially in terms of dollars, those are actually really good things to get started on a little bit early.” -Ashlee Aldridge, CEO, Reach Partners

What are transformation quick wins? 

A strategic move that results in tangible and immediate success that furthers your organization's goals. Quick wins are often essential in business, as they can provide the momentum needed to achieve larger objectives. However, quick wins are just as important when it comes to your Partners.

Below are four steps on how to achieve quick wins for your Partners.

Allocate Specific Budgets

The first step to achieving quick wins for your Partners is to allocate specific budgets for each Partner. This will ensure that each Partner has the resources they need to succeed. By doing this, you will be able to track each Partner's progress and see which are performing well and which are not.

Note: Make sure each Partner knows their budget and what is expected of them. This will help ensure that they are focused on achieving quick wins.

Assign Specific Teams

The second step is to assign specific Teams to work with each Partner. This will allow you to monitor the progress of each Partner better and ensure that they are receiving the support they need. Additionally, it will enable you to identify any issues that may arise so that they can be addressed quickly. 

Note: Be sure to communicate with each Team regularly so that you are aware of their progress. This will help ensure that the Teams are on track and working towards the same goal.

Release Funding Quarterly

Another way to achieve your business goals quickly is to release funding quarterly. This will give your Partners the financial stability they need to continue working towards their goals. In addition, it will allow you to track the progress of each Partner. Make sure you release the funds promptly so your Partners can continue working towards their goals.

Stay on the Same Page

The final step is one that is often overlooked. Stay on the same page with your Partners. This means having regular communication and updates so that everyone is aware of the progress made. Additionally, it means being willing to adjust your plans as needed so your Partners can continue succeeding. By following these steps, you can achieve quick wins for your Partners and help them reach their goals.

Final thoughts

Transformation quick wins are essential to your business, as they can provide the momentum needed to achieve larger objectives. By allocating specific budgets, assigning specific teams, releasing funding quarterly, and staying on the same page, you will be able to achieve quick wins for your partners and help them reach their goals.

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Setting Transformation Expectations

Setting transformation expectations is key to implementing change. You need to be clear about what should happen and when. It's also important to get buy-in from your team and visualize the outcome. By setting the right expectations and visualizing the outcome, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and marching towards the same goal.
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