3 steps to prepare your business for a successful digital evolution.
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
Successfully making a digital transformation is not a simple process and often there are crucial factors that companies don't consider.
For example, there might be a lot of cultural resistance. If your team doesn't buy into the changes, the transformation program will almost certainly fail. This is one of the reasons why over 70% of digital transformation projects fail.
So, in this guide, we will walk you through this process and provide the right insight to allow you to decide that's right for your specific business.
It's easy for us to get caught up in the to-do lists when making changes. Instead of focussing on the people that enable this change and collectively reaching that long-term goal.
We've covered this in multiple guides that include '5 Steps To Your Businesses Successful Digital Evolution', and 'The Human Face of Digital Evolution'.
We will cover the three key aspects of digital evolution that are often talked about but seldom really understood or implemented properly:
Your business culture, your people, and your vision.
If at any point through reading this you want to get a tailored approach with one of the experienced members of the Digital Evolution Forum team, you can contact us to discover how we can help you on that journey.
Preparing your business for a successful digital evolution
It's important to think about a successful digital evolution as a never-ending journey. There is no finish point. There's no line to cross that says you've finished, won, completed it in record time, or received a gold medal, like a race or a sport at the Olympics.
Forrester highlighted how vital adaptive, well-trained people are to a successful transformation of any kind - structurally or digitally. Especially in today’s markets, thanks to the wide range of technology and its even wider range of capabilities, business leaders must be able to execute and go to market ever faster with the right mix of people and technology.
Business agility defines your business's ability to respond, decide, embrace, change, and execute quickly, which are all traits your business can have through the topics we're going to discuss, starting with culture!
Gartner found through an analysis of business earnings calls since 2010, that mentions of business culture have increased by 12% annually. This has made company culture the most discussed talent issue.
For example, let's look at the pandemic to give us a picture of how that's changed business culture.
When Covid came into our lives the majority of businesses had to send people home. They shifted to operating remotely overnight whether they liked it or not.
Now companies of all shapes, sizes, and industries are letting their team decide if they want to work remotely, how often they come into the office, and if they want to move and work abroad. Bloomberg found in a June 2021 study that employees were quitting companies if they couldn't stay working from home.
Twitter, Spotify, Square, Facebook, and Coinbase are all examples of large global companies that announced their employees can work home indefinitely.
That is how much of an impact culture can have on people and the collective business. It can change the entire operational model, sometimes for the better. Big, well-known companies don't implement these types of changes unless they are still achieving progressive results.
Importance of communication in successful digital evolutions
It's one of the most basic concepts in life that without good communication, every day is a bigger struggle for employees the world over. Whether that's a certain item, understanding a client's pain points, ordering from a menu, or understanding the plot to a film.
Communication is vital to get a grasp and full picture of any situation. Whether that's in writing, in person, through video playback (training video) or on a video call.
Without communicating who your business is, what it sells, where you and the team can help, and why your customers can trust you, it's unlikely your business will work well.
Boston Consulting Group highlighted the importance of communication by explaining how leaders need cohesive, scenario-based communication and engagement strategies. These strategies need to be designed to maintain flexibility and to maximise your businesses’ credibility with stakeholders through the ups and downs of rebuilding or going through a successful digital evolution.
The more capable the people you have in a team, the more likely you'll be able to do and achieve more as a business.
There is a caveat to the above statement. Especially when considering digitising aspects of your business or going through digital evolution.
Do you have the right people with the correct digital skillset?
Your business might be in a fortunate situation where it can take on more people. However, finding the people that have the skill set required to carry out increasingly complex tasks is another issue.
As we found out in the guide 'Digital Training: Is It Really Worth It for Your Business?', there is a definite digital skills gap. That's why you need to consider the importance of having a culture that embraces the learning, training, and upskilling of your team. And, of course, yourself.
Importance of upskilling your team
Upskilling your team can bring phenomenal results to the business on multiple levels that include your business collectively, its clients and partners, to the teams and different departments, and the performance of the individuals themselves.
It's easy to get trapped in the idea that by upskilling your team you will make them more valuable to the marketplace and they will want to leave.
While that notion is true on paper, it's not likely the case. Because where they potentially move to next, might not have the same vision and values of upskilling its team.
Which goes back to our earlier discussion on the importance of culture.
If you make the people feel valued, and moving to a new business might not even cross their minds. Especially if they are involved in your businesses exciting successful digital evolution that is opening up a wealth of new options for growth, learning and career progression opportunities.
If you want to attract and keep the right people, they will need to buy into where your company is headed. People with specific or more industry-required skill sets are likely going to factor this into their decision of joining your company over another offer they might have.
But what is a company vision? Here are a couple of definitions to get a picture in our heads.
Forrester wrote in a 2020 blog on company values that the vision of a company is its desired future state.
Indeed explained how company visions are what show a defined direction for growth and goals the team will be working towards.
If your business is going through a digital evolution, it's likely the vision for the company will change. How you operate will change. The way you think will change because tasks now take less time. The people you will want on the team will change and this will bring a new dynamic, even changing the thinking of your current team members.
All of which will likely, whether in a shorter or longer time frame, will change or have an impact on the vision.
Getting your team bought into the vision
Making sure you have the buy-in from the team is vital for the success of your business.
Often Leaders don’t consider how their team feels about the changes that are going to take place. Lots of time people fear for their jobs and this is going to create resistance to the transformations you want to implement. Unless you as a leader know exactly how they feel you cannot get around that resistance and create a compelling vision they will gladly buy into.
You have to paint a clear picture of the “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow for THEM, not just the company.
If you have people, especially when in leadership or department head roles, that don't feel aligned with where the ship is being steered towards, it won't end up at the desired location.
Also, it’s important to remember that digital evolution doesn't have a finish point. Just like a plane, once it's landed it's soon required to fly off again to another destination. And that's what a vision for a company might be like. You arrive at where you wanted to get, and then it quickly changes to something bigger or different.
Next steps for your businesses successful digital evolution
SO now we've looked at three key aspects you need to consider for your business to have a successful digital evolution.
It should be clear that the team you have is vital to the functioning of your business. As we outlined together in the guide 'How Your Business Can Achieve Operational Excellence', people drive the change no matter what stage you're at.
What we haven't looked at is how your business can specifically get these key aspects right, every time.
You can get a tailored approach to implementing the right training to assist your business's digital evolution from the Digital Evolution Forum. All you need to do is contact a member of our experienced team. You'll be on your path to implementing people-focussed foundations that will maximise the results for the journey you and the business are on.