Six Tips for Leaders on a
Digital Transformation Journey

By: Chet Patel

Every enterprise customer I speak to globally says they are on a digital transformation journey. And the journey truly includes some major transformations. These companies are looking at how they can improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of their business functions, operations, and how they do work—it’s about how they get work done within their organization.

From these conversations, I have drawn six key common themes these companies are all thinking about, regardless of the lens; they view these same themes through their specific priorities for transformation.

Using technology to improve customer experience

The first theme centers around customer experience. The biggest challenge I see companies face is when they are seduced by new technology and software. The bells and whistles of the product may offer a shiny object that entices them at inception (they think about how much more efficient things can be with the tool), but they fail to intellectualize their customer experience, journeys, buyer persona, and overall expectations. The natural excitement should only come after prioritizing customer needs. 

I think one of the tough lessons that many organizations have learned is the downside of rapidity and the allure of shiny objects. So many organizations dash straight into transformation projects without doing the less sexy groundwork and figuring out how the technology is enabling them to improve the customer experience. They buy things with the hope that those tools will do the work for them and are too often disappointed when the realization occurs that those new technologies simply don’t meet those expectations. The good news—that's changing. Now the corporate mindset of prioritizing customer experience and needs first is marching slowly toward the forefront of this sort of digital transformation.

Employing digitally aware and digitally open leaders

The second theme is about leadership. Organizations that employ and herald digitally aware and digitally open leaders stand a better chance of being successful. They lead from the front and embrace many of the changes iterated in theme one. Digital transformation is a massive undertaking for most organizations, and leaders need to embrace these processes for them to create efficacy on a sustainable, long-term level across an entire organization. Companies have gotten used to ways of working over years—in some cases decades—and that includes those that have grown accustomed to pivoting and changing quickly. Embracing that change is at times difficult for organizations. The successful ones lead from the top down and bottom up. Meaning, the demand is coming up from the organization—the users and the colleagues within an organization—but it's also being championed top-down. Leaders need to make sure they are visible and visibly committed to the change.

Investing in the right talent

The third theme focuses on people. Having the right talent is obvious and critically important.  Having a people-first philosophy is a major indicator of success. As a leader, prioritizing your colleagues and their experience is critical. It impresses upon them that you are a team and that you care deeply about the active parts of a digital transformation. In turn, your leadership moves everyone forward in this same philosophy, for example: if the organization is investing in this experience for me, it is going to enable me to provide a much better experience for our end customers.

Adapting new ways of thinking

The fourth theme is all about culture and organizations. In other words, not shying away from rethinking and rearchitecting the way that you collaborate with each other in an organization. It also includes the way you think about supply chains, vendors, and


Latest Updates

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel