Leadership and change management in a digital world

Digital transformation is a fact and whether we like it or not, the wave of internet users is generating a significant increase in the income of companies that have bet on this digital change.

In my professional work as a UX designer I had to learn the language of business so that I can communicate design decisions with better precision, this helped me understand better the way business work and how to connect clients needs with business objectives. This very basic understanding of the clients is done more efficiently with digital tools.

I invite you to read this post where I will talk about the many obstacles that this transformation can bring to a company, how the structural organization may be altered, and how user experience is one of the central topics that can change the way businesses operate.

So, what does it mean for a company to make a change to the world of digital?

Urgency is the most important factor, startups must begin their growth with a digital approach, and veteran companies have to move their traditional business ops to a new automated environment. If they don’t do this strategical move, their boat for sure will go down in the waters of slow moving paper work, manual feed back, aloness in a conected world and no data from their clients to work with.

Company leaders cannot guess they’re way into product development, this will give them no target to aim their product at. They will be throwing darts in the dark and all the efforts from their teams and service providers will be almost in vain. Knowing the client from the very beginning is an urgent task and must be done in order to reach them, serve them and in the end economically maintain a service.

“In times of change the greatest danger is to act with yesterday’s logic”

Gerd Leonhard

How do you move from analog to digital?

The most important aspect of transformation is in the head or heads of the companies. They have to have the vision, understand that digital is the way, and that they are willing to go all the way down to how products are developed and how employees are treated. Leaders have to know that for change to happen they have to be willing to affect every part of the company.

4 models to transform the business.

1. Innovation center

Made for companies with enough resources to maintain a center were people innovate together, research about the clients needs and with the objective to move innovation to every part of the company.

2. Dual organization

In this case the innovation side is a non-hierarchical web of different free flowing voluntary projects that the hierarchical side adopts once the ideas are mature enough.

Learn more of dual organizations >>>

3. Ambidextrous organization

One side of the company is devoted to exploiting the products-service they already have and the other side is dedicated to exploring new markets and products-services. This model may be challenging since both side have to be maintained.

4. Start up

The company can also opt in for creating a side company or buying an already created start up saving time and money from development. The challenge here is to be careful on what start ups to invest in.

What about the employees?

As you can see these are some models to be aware of and they should be implemented depending on the business needs and the value they are looking for. Whatever model you decide the one common ground for all these models is that everyone, not only the heads, need to be on the same digital transformation trend.

A very important task to make the shift is to train already installed employees or to look for new staff that already has these digital capabilities. They must learn how digital environments work, how to respond quickly to the acceleration of technology and how to keep up with the never ending new information.

Employers have to make space for every employee within working hours to invest in training so that both the company and the personnel get benefit from these learning experiences. They should learn or already know:

  1. Digital interaction
  2. Information management
  3. Digital communication
  4. Online networking
  5. Strategic vision
  6. Continuous learning
  7. Network leadership
  8. Client orientation

A new client centered operating system

With all these changes there is no escaping from the change within the main goals of the organization. Digital means abundance and abundance means that your product has to be different from the everyday product everyone is used to. It has to deliver specific values to a specific niche and culture. That means that the client has to be at the center of every effort so that happy clients make the business sustainable.

No more borders within teams

There should be agile communication with all teams no matter what the role is. It’s important to be as transparent as posible to be able to have freedom. Freedom is the space where innovation will happen. These means no more working for hours but for results. If teams comunicate at all times the response for the client will be as agile as the teams comunicate. Ideas will happen more often.

Co-create with the client

We have to leave the myth that someone will steal our idea if we present it to the client. If we are going to sell to clients, they could help us create the products that they want. Most innovative ideas will really come from the outside. Why? because there are many brains out there that need something that we can give them. The thing is we have to connect with them and understand their needs, their culture and their ways of doing things. We should always prototype and test to make sure we are meeting their needs.

Conclution

This is only a brief overview of what it means to change an organization to a digital product. There are many factors at play and knowing how to put the pieces together is what will make the efforts from all involved worthwhile. Let’s make the change as soon as posible. As I started, urgency is the first thing that has to be at play, the future depends on this so the transition to a new way of working and collaborating becomes the new business model.

Cheers!

Credits:

Business photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

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