If there’s one thing we’re always taught about business it’s that change is constant. If you’re concerned that your offering isn’t transforming to meet the needs of the digital age fast enough, chances are there’s a much bigger question you should be asking yourself.
What is digital transformation? The rate of digital change is almost completely immeasurable, and keeping your business up-to-date requires a lot of time and research. Getting an accurate reading of the latest technologies is crucial to pushing your e-envelope forward. How exactly do you do that? Although finding the pulse of the latest technology trends, vendors and solutions seem impossible, digital growth is within your reach.
That’s because transforming your business to conform to the digital era is a cultural shift requiring you to transform your belief systems in order to inspire newer, more scalable systems and practices.
Luckily, entrepreneurs have agility on their side to get the job done faster. The main advantage to being smaller means you have the ability to be more nimble and adapt to the rate of change quicker than larger firms. For intrapreneurs working at much larger organizations, the job isn’t impossible either. In fact, the amount of homework you’ll end up doing amounts to the same. The only recognizable difference is that you’ll need to allocate the right amount of time influencing those in your decision-making chain to help you get your transformation in motion. That’s because digital transformation involves a re-thinking of traditional practices and policies; it’s a cultural shift more than anything else. Because of that, it will require the same level of effort for any leader, regardless of company size.
Set Your Standards
Firstly, you should start off by defining what digital transformation means to your business. This is crucial before you even begin committing to your strategy. In this article, it is suggested that digital transformation encompasses numerous business considerations, including cost, learning curve, migration strategy and a host of technical concerns.
Digital transformation requires a shift in budgets, internal capabilities, and other downstream strategies. Digital transformation is not only just a lens on business strategy. In fact, it should be considered a shift in your value proposition and overall business model. That’s why it’s so important to define what digital transformation means to you and your long-term plan. Technology can help transform your business by creating opportunities, but you’ll need to source the right ones by asking the right questions to the right people in order to choose a solution that doesn’t create limitations for you long-term.
Define Great Customer Experience
If you look at some of the leading brands that inspire you to take a more digital approach, you’ll notice it’s the same brands we use everyday—Uber, Spotify, Google, Amazon to name a few. While their offerings may vary, there is one thing that ties them together: a great digital customer experience.
What exactly does a great customer experience look like? Delivering a great digital customer experience is a balancing act of using an omni-channel approach to collecting user data to help streamline your customer processes. So, how can you get there?
Understand what your customer needs, not just what you think your customer wants. You can do this by listening to those who interact with your customer daily. Speak to your front line to get a better understanding of the real-life feedback and an accurate representation of what’s working well and what their main paint points tend to be. Then, dive a little deeper into your data and analytics to get a sense of your current trends.
Address Your Opportunities
People, process, and technology. Great strategy starts on the inside, so do the work to understand how you’re operating today. This might sound simple to do, but it’s what companies seem to struggle with most.
Understand what functions belong to whom, what processes they are using to get to the finish line and what resources they have available to ensure the job gets done. It’s also important to listen to your people. They will likely have insight into things you wouldn’t necessarily be aware of or exposed to.
Be the Source of Inspiration
Digital transformation doesn’t start with a strategy and end at implementation. As said earlier, it’s a cultural shift. What does that mean and how do you make the shift come to life?
You embody it. Digital can bring a lot of positive change to your organization, but it can also cause a lot of resistance from your employees. That’s why it’s so important to embed technology as part of your personal brand identity. If you don’t have the means to translate digital to your company’s brand and values, as a leader, it should be at the core of who you are and what your personal mission is for the company.
Creating a safe space not only increases employee productivity, but it also welcomes an atmosphere for innovation.
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the same companies leading great online customer experiences are also the same leaders for workplace culture. Google’s Project Aristotle, the research responsible for understanding how to build the perfect team and drive ongoing group effectiveness, was conducted by recent Yale graduate, Julia Rozovsky.
What this research found was that there are essentially five key indicators and motivators for keeping your team successful. As explained by TechTarget’s analysis, these components are what’s needed in order for each of your team members to perform their very best. Since transforming your business to innovate is a cultural shift, we think these are important for you to consider. They are:
- Psychological Safety: Team members must feel comfortable being emotionally exposed, taking risks and dealing with uncertainty with one another. They need to feel supported (and not ridiculed) for coming up with new ideas or speaking up.
- Dependability: This is the idea that team members should feel like they can rely on one another. That doesn’t take away from accountability, it just means everyone should participate in the same vision in order to make something of high quality.
- Structure and Clarity: People need clear objectives in order to feel important. This plays into accountability.
- Meaning of Work: Feeling satisfied in one’s role means you have a feeling of purpose. This is a key success component for teammates and critical for them to have in order to be effective and to love coming to work every day.
- Impact of Work: Team members want to feel like the work they do is going to benefit the company. No one wants to feel like their efforts are wasted.
Leaders are always looking for ways to make their teams more effective. Take a human approach and make it part of your mission to incorporate these components into your environment. Not only will it benefit the work produced or your team members’ satisfaction, it’ll also contribute to the greater value of transforming your culture of innovation.
So if you’re looking to transform to lead digital transformation, your best bet is to take it on as you would any other strategy. Set your standards, define what great customer experience means to you, address what people, processes, and technologies you have in place, and most importantly, embody it.