In a recent global survey of over 1,000 business and IT leaders, 82% of people we spoke to said they believe that business agility is critical to delivering transformation that will improve the customer experience.
And to quote Bill Gates, “Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react and reinvent.” The key point here is that transformation is an ongoing process, and with disruptors changing industries faster than ever before – it’s those that are most agile that will survive and thrive.
But that presents an important question: how exactly can you create this culture of agility and innovation in a business that doesn’t have it? (which most don’t!)
It won’t be easy of course, but based on our primary research and project experience, here are a few practical steps that business leaders can follow to align the organization to a more agile mind-set – something that’s critical if you’re looking to speed up digital transformation.
STEP 1 – DEVISING A PLAN
It sounds painfully obvious but when you’ve been tasked with making a radical change, it can be a major sticking point to figure out exactly where and how to begin. You have an itch to start straight away on disparate pilot programs, but will you be risking a lack of control and scalability? Your other option is to meticulously craft the perfect transformation plan, but by then months or years could have passed with no tangible results to show for it.
But making that plan tangible for the rest of your business is the key. Your plan should include a series of incremental quick wins that are directly related to the objectives of specific departments and teams. For large organizations this can be a simple case of picking from a list of stated corporate goals, and for the rest its a case of looking at where your industry is going vs. how your business operates today and finding the biggest gaps.
Identifying these key areas and teams will help others to understand and prioritize, almost guaranteeing that things move along swiftly and that there will be opportunities for departments to share successes with the board.
STEP 2 – WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS
The first reaction to change is usually some form of resistance. Very few teams or departments will be leaping in the air when you announce your digital transformation initiative. You will need to convince them all that transformation is crucial to the business’ survival, but more importantly that they all have a significant role to play in making it happen. This is about inspiring individuals within your business to step up and take responsibility for transforming one area of the business – with a handful of engaged individuals you will start to see real change.
It’s imperative that this comes from the top; if senior management wholeheartedly support the change, it will filter down to all levels of the business. But providing an element of ownership to different departments and making them feel part of wider success will be critical to getting them fully involved.
STEP 3 – FINDING A REPEATABLE SOLUTION
It’s one thing for you to successfully execute a trial transformation initiative in one small team. It’s quite another to roll that change out across the whole organization, to all its core systems and critical processes and to positively impact the customer experience.
What more and more businesses are realizing is that repeating this process requires a technology based on a platform, one that has the ability to connect people, processes, devices and data to bring agility into how the business operates. But technology alone can’t solve digital transformation, far from it, the responsibility lies with you to decide how to use the new platform to return the customer to the heart of the organization and its operations.
Face these challenges head-on and you’ll be three steps further along your digital transformation journey and one step closer to delighting your customers.
Want to learn more? Find out how the pressures faced by business leaders and IT leaders differ, and how you can work together more effectively to accelerate your digital transformation timeline. Download the ‘How to Create a Timeline for Digital Transformation’ eBook.