3 Keys to Successful Leadership During Digital Transformation
A digital transformation involves integrating technology into all aspects of the business, causing a fundamental shift that impacts employees and clients. It is also a cultural change that may cause tension among employees and even some failures within your organization. Therefore, it should never be undertaken lightly or without a clear strategy.
Implementing new technologies can significantly improve how your business operates and lead to enhanced profitability—if the change is handled correctly. Leaders often recognize digital transformation as wholly positive without considering how the change will impact their team members. However, like other major disruptions, digital transformation should be approached as a major change.
Good leadership that recognizes how to lead during times of change is essential for a successful digital transformation. You can have the best processes and structures in place, but it will all fall apart without the right leadership.
These three tips will help you successfully lead your organization through digital transformation.
Three Keys to Successful Leadership During a Digital Transformation
1. Communicate Your Why to Frontline Employees
Digital transformation should solve a specific problem. Implementing new technology just for the sake of having the latest tech in your organization isn’t a long-lasting strategy. There should always be a reason why you are making a digital shift, whether it’s to improve the customer experience, lower internal costs, increase productivity, or solve another challenge facing your business.
While it’s essential to have buy-in at the top, you also need to have frontline workers at different levels and in various departments to support you and work with you as advocates. These early adopters will be critical for getting their colleagues to buy-in to the change with the same level of urgency.
Frequent communication is key. Clearly articulate the problem that this new change is solving so that all employees understand why they are being asked to make significant changes to their processes.
2. Expect Setbacks
Going into a major change expecting nothing to go wrong is a recipe for disaster. While it’s important to have a plan for success, it’s also crucial to expect that you will face challenges that you have not yet imagined. Expect setbacks and prepare yourself ahead of time for how you will manage them.
Being able to adapt quickly is vital for great leadership during a digital transformation. You will need to recognize when a strategy isn’t working and pivot to a new one. Talking to other leaders who have successfully led through change management can be beneficial and help you recognize that you aren’t the only one who has gone through this.
3. Celebrate Small Wins
Small wins show employees, customers, and stakeholders the benefits of the changes you are implementing. Anytime there is a success as a result of digital transformation, celebrate it! It doesn’t matter how small.
Those small wins may be more meaningful to many employees than the big ones because they can see how their everyday operations are positively affected by the new changes.
Managing a digital transformation is no small task. It requires diligence, adaptability, and patience. You are going to discover some new things about your organization and the people who work there. Whenever it gets tough, remember your “why” and focus on how the changes you are making will positively impact your employees, clients, and stakeholders.