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On the malice of the day

7 practices of leadership for Digital Transformation management

Digital changes impact everyone and radically change one industry after another. Even the politicians advertise it as a pledge of social and economic development. Naturally, many companies tend to change, to benefit from these trends, or simply to keep up with competitors.

However, digital transformation is even more difficult to implement than ordinary changes. Digital business requires a new leadership style and new employee work paradigm. Therefore, a change of culture and leadership style is an integral part of digitalization.

Digital transformation requires a paradigm shift in thinking, and past skills become obsolete faster than ever. Therefore, many employees and managers fear the effects of digitalization and may be unwilling to adapt. This means that the leaders must be hungry for change. Businesses need executives ready to change quickly (sometimes daily) and be visionary, to focus on long-term goals.

Analysis of the real practice of effective transformations allows identifying 7 success factors that leaders should be guided by if they want their organizations not only to change, but to succeed in change.

  1. Clear objectives

Nobody introduces new technologies, just to have new technologies and does not change just for the sake of changes. Any organization does all this to remain competitive, increase productivity, and create more innovative products and services.

Only a transformation that leads a business to an understandable, realistic goal has a chance of successful implementation. It can be difficult for people to go through changes, and the driving force must be the goal towards which the business is striving. The transformation leader must at any time answer the questions of why.

Many organizations, when making changes, tend to look inward and set the goal of digital transformations to digitize their internal operating model. However, goals related to external success (launching new products or services, interacting with external partners on digital channels) are more promising.

  1. Think big

Right way of digital changes is large-scale. Transform a number of processes or business units, or the entire enterprise, that is very important.

Do not hesitate to introduce many new technologies at the same time. This may seem illogical, because a wider set of technologies complicates transformations and makes them more risky. However, practice shows that organizations undergoing change successfully tend to use more sophisticated technologies, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of things and machine learning.

  1. Employees in focus

To stimulate digital transformation, it is not enough just to invest in technology. Employees are the most important factor for successful way to digital.

How to take everyone with you on a digital journey? The digital environment requires new ways of collaboration, new structures and culture, a more motivating and creative environment, support for autonomy, empowerment and active participation. To do this, change the entire leadership style.

Today, employees want more control over their work and more convenient and broad cooperation with others. The culture of working together in such modern companies as Google or Tesla is increasingly becoming a role model.

Another key point is giving employees the right to vote on what is new and where they can change in business. When employees generate their own ideas for improving business, this is a very effective approach.

  1. Look ahead

It is critical to constantly think about how digitalization can affect the business in the near and long term, and the skills that managers and employees need to support.

One of the most important steps for organizations is to develop clear workforce strategies to help identify the digital skills and capabilities that they currently have - and they will need - to achieve their future goals.

  1. Together we are stronger

To be a leader in today's time, you should think more about what you can do with your partners. As technology becomes more complex and improved, success usually requires the collaboration of several parties.

This means that your entire business must be ready to partner in achieving the ultimate goal. A flexible leader is not afraid of this partnership, but seeks to extract maximum benefit from it.

  1. Be opportunistic

For a leader, it may be tempting to immerse yourself in the daily business routine. However, successful leaders think about the future, and always look for opportunities.

Leaders who are capable of change must look ahead. The easiest way to do this is to analyze the available opportunities today, tomorrow and always. To ask questions. Give employees an open space for innovation and experimentation. Praise those who succeed (including themselves). Help those who fail to learn.

  1. Risk and experiments

Leaders who are capable of change are those who take risks and experimenters who create opportunities. The stage at which we are today would not have been possible without the experiments of technology companies and the risk they took upon themselves.

Another side of an opportunity is always risk. When you face the risk, do you avoid it? Or do you take it? Both can be harmful or useful for your business - you only need to consider the risk correctly.

If you take steps to prepare for risk, you can take a risk, even if you expect to fail. Any innovator will tell you that success comes from failure.

Today we are not going through the battle for digital survival. Companies that cannot adapt and change will disappear over time. Successful digital transformation is perhaps the key to survival, not innovation. Those who cannot adapt to the ever-changing environment risk disappearing like dinosaurs.

Properly implemented transformation will allow enterprises to become better, stronger, more profitable. But without partnership and true cooperation, your competitiveness will suffer.

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