I read a lot about digital transformation projects. I’m fascinated with how different organisations take different approaches to what is a massive undertaking which can make or break businesses. At Propel we’ve been fortunate to be at the heart of staffing many of these projects and its certainly an eye opener understanding just how many varying roles need to be filled.
Of course, the process is different in every company but reading about a talk given by Peter Sondergaard, executive vice president of research at Gartner it becomes apparent there is one constant and that is the need for the leaders in organisations to be at the heart of the process.
Speaking to an audience of board directors in Sydney, Australia, Sondergaard said that the concept of digital business would enter the ‘trough of disillusionment’ within 12 to 18 months, as large parts of organizations can become frustrated with the speed of change and become unproductive
“Will your leadership team stand up and manage through a period in which they will be constantly questioned? As leaders, you need to see your organization through to the other side, to what Gartner calls the ‘plateau of productivity’,” he says
If the leadership is vital what is also true is that a digital strategy is only as good as the organisation attempting to execute it. Companies need to do hundreds of things right to create a digital organisation, but the main one is to understand who will lead and drive the process. Ideally, the CEO and senior and business line managers will drive the digital transformation. But for some companies, especially those just beginning the journey, it may make sense to appoint a digital leader who temporarily drives and coordinates all digital activity.
The next fork in the road on the process is to understand what talent you will need to bring in. Talent is almost always on a CEO’s short list of top concerns and it becomes even more critical during a digital transformation process.
If these topics interest you as much as they do me, then our next Propel Event will be of interest to you.
Our ‘Humanising Digital Transformation’ event takes place on October 12th at The Club at The Ivy in London and is part of our successful Propel Breakfast event series. Hosted by Peter Abraham, author of Building the Agile Business, we will be looking at the role of leadership in a transformation process, how you need to retain your company values whilst also bringing in a digital first culture and what are the roles you will need to recruit for and where to find them.