Change Management - The 6 Components of Effective Digital Transformation

Lab Blog Article

  • Published — Mar 2019
  • Topic — Change Management
  • Author — Greg Shaw

When it comes to a digital business transformation, the landscape is rapidly and constantly changing. When one digital solution has been implemented, another one swiftly comes into play. Although businesses are willing to invest in the latest digital trends to help accelerate their growth, how can they efficiently identify the need for change during an ever-expanding modern digital climate? And more importantly, how can they successfully formulate one that is sustainable and long-lasting?

In the 1960s, David Gleicher originally created the Formula for Change to help examine the strengths affecting the anticipated success of administrative change programs.

The original equation is as follows:

  • C = A * B * D > X
  • C = Successful change
  • A = Status quo dissatisfaction
  • B = Desired clear state
  • D = Practical steps to the desired state
  • X = Cost of the change

In the fast-paced digital world we live in, it is important to appropriate the original change equation to reflect the current corporate climate when attaining change objectives.

During a recent masterclass at The Project Lab, Greg Shaw of 'A Shaw Thing Consulting Services' discussed the modified Sylvia Downs Adaptation that suggests change is more likely to be effective when six (6) key components are identified and understood.

Let’s look at each of the 6 components in more detail.

1. Dissatisfaction with the Present

If businesses are happy with their current digital structure, they will be less likely to consider changing the status quo. However, if poor performing technology is creating reduced employee engagement, providing a poor customer experience, heightening the risk of cyber security breaches, and increasing data loss through software failure, then implementing a new digital system may be necessary.

In order to avoid short-term, quick-fix solutions, the following steps are important to apply when identifying present dissatisfaction:

  • Gather any facts and data about the company’s traditional digital methods;
  • Identify what currently works and what doesn’t;
  • Identify why the current digital system might not be sustainable;
  • Ask employees to take part in a survey to find out what they think about the company’s current digital landscape.

2. Vision for the Future

"In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision" - Dalai Lama

How could things be better than the way they are now? What does change actually mean for the organization? Comparing the future to the present dissatisfaction is key to inspiring positive change because it allows people to actively envision the improvement. Things such as road shows, trials, or a well-conceived vendor demonstration help bring the digital transformation to life, resulting in a viable long-term transformation.

Checkout a recent demonstration by Microsoft for an example on how to positively inspire a vision based on the core ideologies of a company.

3. Practical First Steps

In order to move confidently into the future, people need to be provided with practical steps. One way business establishments can execute these crucial first steps, is to create an IT roadmap to show interdependencies and priorities as well as an outline of relevant training and recruitment. This will help support a positive transition into the digital transformation.

Although time-consuming, building a solid foundation is critical. This includes technological infrastructure, policy, governance structures, workplace capability, and culture. In particular, businesses that embedded the digital culture, achieved stronger performances when implementing a digital change.

4. Key Stakeholders' Support

Successful digital transformation is not just about technology. It also requires an encouraging leader who knows the way, and consistently provides a supportive environment during challenging times.

“Digital transformation first requires management transformation as managers rarely see themselves as part of the problem.” -

In order for businesses to effortlessly adapt to a new digital culture, the right person must be designated to oversee the transition.

According to Greg Shaw Change Equation masterclass, management should possess the following qualities:

  • Brutal Honesty;
  • The ability to focus on performance improvement and quality not technology;
  • An overall holistic view of the entire company;
  • An understanding of past, present, and future methods;
  • Zero preconceived ideas and assumptions.

5. Personal Heartache

With any change can come a feeling of uncertainty and loss. People are creatures of habit and value their identity, control and security. Disrupting their routine, jeopardizing their sense of belonging, or threatening their work relationships, can evoke resistance.

In the wake of a digital transformation, the following can help employees move forward without the expense of staff morale:

  • Understand and accept any feelings of loss that may be experienced by staff members during the transition;
  • Encourage employees to let go of any previous psychological attachments and create a new identity within the company;
  • Introduce ways to learn and thrive in the new business environment.

6. Financial Cost

With change comes new resources and the burden of financial cost. As with any new business operation, these costs must be assessed before a viable transition can be performed.

Some of the questions to consider when measuring the cost of undertaking a digital transition include:

  • Does it align with the organisations current business strategy?
  • Will employees be able to effectively utilize the digital solution?
  • Does the solution fulfil the purpose?

Although implementing effective digital change is not without its challenges, by using each of the above components of the Change Equation, companies can take the necessary steps to safeguard themselves from any obstacles that may threaten the success of their digital transformation process and ultimately, their business performance.