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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