Go Beyond Technology For Digital Transformation Best Practices

By Cynthia Short

Why Digital Transformation?

I often get asked why we focus on transformation work, specifically at Lexico. Digital transformation can not only  improve cost savings and efficiency, but also can boost growth and innovation, delivering an even stronger and more meaningful return.

Digital Transformation Basics

While many elements of the work are specific and material, I’ve found that it’s often the intangibles that have the biggest impact and are often the most overlooked. Digital transformation doesn’t just focus on technology. It includes looking at your people, process, services and so much more.

5 Digital Transformation Strategies for Success

Here are the five key lessons that have helped our team at Lexico lead a variety of organizations, from retail and manufacturing to professional service, through a transformation successfully and improve digital transformation efficiency.

1. Mindset matters

Many transformations include a focus on digital technologies to improve productivity and/or consumer intimacy. But without leader and employee readiness and willingness to embrace change, the opportunities technology is poised to afford will never be realized. The mindset of leaders as well as the mindset of team members is key to transformation success.

2. Know your goals

Having a clearly defined final destination of where you want your digital transformation efficiency to end up needs to come before deciding on technology solutions to implement. Leaders often lean into specifics like machine learning, AI, or any other tools or platforms as the foundation of the work to be done. In reality, transformation is always about a combination of solutions that go beyond technologies. Be clear on key business areas you want to improve and why before you proceed to the next step, as those business goals will determine your investment.

3. Leverage insiders

Often, transformations fail to deliver results. Not because of any issues with the technology, but because intimate insider knowledge or digital transformation platforms have been overlooked. Be sure to tap into those insights early and often, co-designing solutions with those that can help ensure change based on reality vs theoretical best practices.  

4. Recognize and acknowledge employees’ fear

New is always scary, and employees may oppose changes as they see it as a threat to their value, role, and even careers. Leaders must acknowledge these concerns rather than try to talk people out of them. Being transparent, making things tangible, and open, honest, and ongoing communication can make or break the buy-in required for success. It is always important to keep the people part of transformation at the forefront because it can be the most disrupted.

5. Embrace start-up culture ways

Horizontal hierarchy, agile decision-making, and rapid prototyping have long been factors in start-up companies’ successes. While these things may be new in larger, more established organizations, incorporating bite-sized pieces of these work methods into transformation work can help minimize risk.

Notice that none of these lessons is focused on technology solutions or data-driven decision-making. It starts with having a transformational, growth-oriented mindset that drives a people-first approach. These intangibles can be applied as the foundation of your digital transformation work and enable you to fully realize the benefits of the digital technologies you implement. While overlooked in favor of concrete solutions, the intangibles of mindset, leadership, and employee engagement are the secret sauce that is key to your organization’s transformation success.

If you’re looking for assistance in successfully navigating a transformation, contact Lexico.