Most executives today list digital transformation as a high strategic priority for their organizations. How they practically achieve digital transformation, however, varies widely. Some may point to establishing an innovative culture as the crux of their success, while others may focus on eliminating manual processes. Robert Harbols, Partner at Artisan, recently shared with Forbes what he believes to be the number-one success factor in digital transformation. No, it's not the budget or even composition of the team. It's balance.
Balance is required both when determining the type of innovations to pursue. A strategic leader will seek to reduce friction in a way that still leverages human intuition. Rather than leaning too far toward automation and replacing the human element and personal touch team members can bring to a task, businesses would be wise to leverage digital technology to enable a symbiotic relationship between human and computer.
Similarly, given the cross-functional nature of digital projects, leaders of digital change must be able to blend deep technical expertise with strong diplomatic leadership. This balance of capability is what MIT research scientist George Westerman and IMD Business School professor Didier Bonnet call digital mastery. It's a skill set that is more critical post-2020 than ever before. Leading change, especially during a pandemic, requires a dual focus on digital technology and organizational culture; one cannot be ignored in favor of the other. While it is critical to design and implement the right technological solution, it is just as important to ensure organizational buy-in and cultural alignment. Ultimately a thoughtful, balanced approach to digital transformation will unlock the ability to drive meaningful and lasting change.
If your organization is on the journey of digital transformation, we’d love to connect and share our experience with you.