This spring, CPA Alberta is hosting PD seminars with Garrett Wasny, MA, CMC, CITP/FIBP, an award-winning internet speaker, author, app developer, and PD technologist. In this article, Garrett shares his top tips on digital transformations, which are backed up by data from recent McKinsey surveys.
The decision-makers overseeing the transformation must be totally committed to the process and outcome. They should be dedicated full-time to the change, and not view it simply as a sideline task. The more directly and deeply senior leaders are engaged, the greater the chance of success.
Developing talent throughout the organization is fundamental for transformations. Individual roles and responsibilities must be redefined to align with the transformation’s goals. Growing priority must be placed on integrator roles—employees who typically have experience on the business side and also understand the technical aspects, who can help integrate new digital processes into existing ways of working.
Digital transformations require cultural and behavioural rewiring. This includes calculated risk-taking, increased collaboration, continuous learning, open work environments, rapid prototyping, and allowing employees to learn from their failures. Another key is giving employees a say on where digitization could and should be adopted. When employees generate their own ideas about where digitization might support the business, success is far more likely.
New organizational norms must be established to support success; for example, implementing digital self-serve technologies for employees and business partners. This more than doubles the likelihood of a successful transformation. Another key driver is modifying standard operating procedures to include new technologies such as cloud-based collaboration and communication tools. This promotes an increase in data-based decision-making and the visible use of interactive platforms. Over time, these strategies drive positive change and measurable improvements in internal collaboration and general performance.
Clear communication is critical during a digital transformation. A top priority is articulating a change story—the key mission statement which explains where the organization is headed, why it’s changing, and why the changes are important. At organizations that follow this practice, a successful transformation is more than three times more likely than at those organizations that don’t follow this practice. Enterprises also need to be more creative in the channels they are using to communicate with staff. One strategy is to move away from traditional channels that support only one-way communication (company-wide emails, for example) and toward more interactive platforms (such as internal social media) that enable open dialogues across the organization.
Hear more from Garrett Wasny by attending one of his upcoming CPA Alberta PD seminars: