In just a quarter of a century, a dizzying number of technological changes have transformed companies and industries. Yet corporate leaders, especially those who are rather risk-averse, tend to fear the fundamental shifts that digital transformation proposes. They may be reluctant to move away from their legacy technology and operations -- and adopt whole new digital solutions. Or perhaps they may not want to be disruptive for the sake of "disruption," which never adds any real value to the enterprise.
Nevertheless, corporate leaders should take careful note of the technological disruption happening around them. They need to view advanced technology and change management more as a continuous interplay -- facilitating the delivery of optimal products and services. They need to employ best practices to deal with digital disruption head-on, making the latter work for -- instead of against -- the business.
Best Practices for Disruption
If history is any indication, organizations can not only survive but thrive during periods of major technological disruption. But first, they need to develop key digital strategies like the following:
- Better understand the core products and services on the market. See how the latest technology is disrupting industries, and increasing efficiency and effectiveness of companies.
- Consider shorter adoption and implementation cycles. Foster incremental and agile implementation -- throughout the testing and execution stages -- and place the digital solution directly in employees' hands.
- Assess company culture on a more regular basis. Recognize that culture is no longer static. Get a sound understanding of where technology stands with employees, in both tactical and strategic terms, and determine -- within reasonable bounds -- the cultural changes needed to achieve success.
- Enlist digital champions. Invite veterans of digital transformation to teach employees who are less versed in technology adoption.
- Continue to innovate. Seek newer ways to improve the business.
Digital Transformation Journey
Naturally, when starting a digital transformation journey, the first step is accepting that no person can implement a digital transformation program single-handedly. Indeed, it truly "takes a village."
Digital transformation is intrinsically tied to change management, requiring various departments to work together in an integrated fashion. This ensures that the deployment of digital tools is supported enterprise-wide and will not stall at any point -- and fosters a much stronger digital culture.
In turn, organizations will develop innovative solutions that help resolve complex business challenges over time. This digital transformation will also attune companies to a rapidly changing world -- and open corporate leaders' minds to all technological possibilities.
So, simply adjust your own lens and view around digital disruption. You will begin to see it as something that is not only unavoidable, but also wholly desirable.