“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” Albert Einstein

An insightful quotation from one of the last century’s greatest thinkers; and I’m sure that there must be a link between the Einsteins and the Steins!

We’ve waited a long time for an opportunity of this size and scope and it’s taken a revolution in the way commerce works for it to finally come about. But make no mistake, opportunity drives the world of business and right now we are facing the greatest opportunities in living memory.

Opportunity fires the imagination and creates new products, solutions and services in any marketplace anywhere in the world. The only thing holding back the level of success an organisation will enjoy in this new world, is the true level of ambition within the company in the first place.

Events such as politics, wars, epidemics and inventive progress often kick start new opportunities. They drive innovation and accelerate the kind of growth that has shaped the ages. The last great opportunities were the Industrial Revolution and the advent of Computers. We now stand on the precipice of a new world age, brought about by the digital revolution following the global pandemic.

Digital transformation allows us all to take advantage of technology to improve performance, lifestyles and our lives. For growing companies, digital transformation can be the answer to many of the challenges on their unique growth journey.

Getting the implementation of digital transformation wrong will set you back. It will halt progress and de-stable an already successful business. Risk, reward, planning and an insight into what the digital journey looks like is vital for success.

By far the single biggest challenge facing leaders of growing companies is not choosing support partners, but getting their teams to understand digital transformation and what it should and could do to enhance business performance on the growth journey.

See the model below.

The TOP TEN FACTORS when using digital transformation as part of your strategy.

1. Clarity of Vision

Digital transformation is a golden opportunity to enhance your customer offer by providing something fresh, new and relevant. Once you have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve as a business, then digital transformation should be planned into the operational workings of your organisation.

2. Don’t tell them how, tell them why

Buy-in to digital transformation is achieved when you answer the “What’s in it for me?” question raised by your people. Identify the personal benefits of signing-up to your organisation’s growth journey. As a tip, your vision should incorporate some of the elements highlighted above in red.

3. Listen to your customers – and I mean really listen

Your customers will always tell you what they want, but it’s surprising how few companies actually take the time to really listen. The needs of your customers and their expected experience should always drive the digital transformation products and processes you put in place. Forcing your idea of easy-fit digital solutions into your operations will not work. Not everyone wants cashless payment systems and online banking. Just listen to your customers, I promise they will tell you what they want and save you a great deal of time and money in your growth journey.

4. One size never fits all

Digital transformation products, solutions and services should support the size of the opportunity for your organisation. Not the other way around. No one wants to see the tail wagging the dog.

5. You’re adding to, not leaving behind, your company culture

Digital transformation is a tool designed to maximise your opportunity, not change or crush what you already have. It is not a revolution that will fundamentally alter your organisations approach to the world. It’s a process that enhances an already established and successful way of performing.

6. There is a place for everything

To succeed on your growth journey in this new digital age, organisational development and digital transformation are intertwined. You cannot have one without the other.

7. Success comes from understanding

You need to be able to explain the case for digital transformation in simple and focused ways, or you will never obtain the buy-in and commitment from your teams that enables the growth changes needed throughout the organisation. A simple, powerful and clearly understood proposition and accompanying message is all that’s required.

8. Allow your teams to input

Obtaining feedback from your people, particularly in the early days, is critical to buy-in and a smooth transition to sustainable growth. Listen carefully to their objections, fears and considerations. Not only will this feedback engender a culture of inclusion, it will also inform your search for digital transformation solution providers.

9. Kiss a few frogs

Identifying your digital transformation suppliers, partners and specialists as early as possible on your growth journey is an important step. Just remember that not everyone will be right for you and it’s important to never settle. Highlight your growth plans and your expected contribution from them. Invite them to offer suggestions linked to supporting your short, mid and long-term goals on your growth journey.

10. Partner with someone who understands your ambition

Your ambition for your company should match that of the supplier you choose. It may sound ridiculous, but not every adviser out there is on a growth journey of their own. So make sure you find someone who is; and who matches your own ambition and growth culture.
An early indication will be their products, services and solution, along with details of their service level agreements and their own vision and growth plans.