Digital transformation is the name many organizations have given to their "program" to accelerate change and onboard new technologies into their business. For the vast majority, however, such programs are failing. A 2015 study made by PulsePoint Group indicated that 84% of such programs are failing or have failed. The reasons are myriad, including too many choices, misalignment, infighting, legacy systems, limiting belief systems, or the lack of a shared mission. Today, nearly everyone is on some kind of transformation, even the newer companies as they pivot from one business model to another. What will make your digital transformation program succeed? First, not to consider it a "program." It's a state of mind and it will necessarily be a continuing state of mind for the foreseeable future. I believe there are three key mindsets to have: a deeper sense of purpose and meaningfulness, personal responsibility and a truly collaborative spirit. While there are many important skills to have, the new killer app is knowing how to listen "hard" and to demonstrate empathy inside and outside, toward to the stakeholders and customers.
Resistance to change is normal, but it can be fatal in these fast-moving times. Fear -- of the unknown, failure or rejection -- is one of the biggest impediments to progress. The issue with digital, and the necessary transformation organizations need to undertake, is that there is a plethora of options, within and without the company. I refer to this as facing the Digital Mountain. It's huge and all-encompassing. Organizations need to select the path up the digital mountain that best suits their overall strategy.
The onslaught of new technologies has changed the way businesses are run, how money is made as well as the expectations of customers. Finding the right, new business model is critical to ensuring long-term survival.
These are the three key mindsets that ought to accompany any company wanting to survive and thrive long-term.
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As many companies seek to become more customer centric, the real winners will be those who execute best and truly bring bona fide value to their customer base. Bringing in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and big data analytics will require significant adaptations internally in terms of work environment and culture, including roles, processes, systems and work flow. The best leaders will know how to exhibit empathy internally toward the employee base as well as with the external partners and, of course, their customers. Empathy can be learned, but in times of stress and pressure, the only way to ensure it remains in place is to have deep-seated empathy that's authentic and genuine.