You either do or you will die. And it all comes down to culture.
I found this article published by the Harvard Business Review about digital transformation of a company, to be both challenging and insightful.
Most of us have experienced digital transformation efforts within our businesses that have fallen far short of what they set out to achieve. In fact, one study found that despite significant investment, 75 per cent of technological solutions implemented across whole organisations were considered failures.
As the article highlights, to genuinely adapt to today's digital world, business leaders need to challenge, and more than likely change, their digital core beliefs by:
Disrupt your own business models, behaviours and mindsets.
Act on new beliefs and share them throughout the organization.
One of the key steps to a successful digital transformation is Inversion. By taking on the new thoughts and beliefs that will likely conflict with those traditional in your industry and business you can create disruption. If executed with the vigour and passion needed, you will successfully transform your own set ways of thinking and your organisation will reap the rewards.
Why is this important?
Disrupting your own business model and the mindsets of the people in your organisation will be challenging and may cause pain points. So why do it?
We live in a ‘new world’ where the innovative models and cultures of the likes of Airbnb, Uber, Whatsapp and Alibaba are taking the world by storm. These companies have transformed existing industries and businesses and cemented themselves as the industry leaders of tomorrow. As a result, some are being valued up to twenty times higher than their projected value. Those who failed to disrupt their own models are now relics of history. Think of Kodak and Blockbuster.
So where do you start?
As the article states, and I agree, it’s about ‘disrupting yourself’ first and foremost. Simply put, this means challenging yourself and your core beliefs as a leader. The article poses these questions to kick start the process:
Are you willing to examine your underlying beliefs?
Are you willing to understand and invest in the technology that supports new and more scalable business models?
Are you willing to collaborate and share value with the networks around you?
Answering these questions first will greatly improve the likelihood of successfully leading disruptive innovation.
Stages of Change
The one thing that everyone universally agrees on in business is that change is constant.
If the true transformation of a company, team or individual is to occur, people are likely to react in a variety of ways. Many involved will go through the various emotional reactions to change that include complacency, denial, confusion and finally transformation.
As a leader, you will need to be equipped with the necessary skills and capabilities to lead and support your people through these changes.
How you do this will reinforce ‘the way things are done’ in your organisation for better or for worse.
So, will your behaviours strengthen or weaken your culture through challenging times at your company?