Translating strategy to actions. Linking outcomes back to the individual so that people clearly understand their contribution to the overall business outcome
In a Good Day to Die Hard, Jack's plan is to just wing it. Running in, all guns blazing! Make it up as they go. As IT leaders, when carrying out digital transformation, in most cases this approach fails. We leave too many of our own team behind, a huge technology bill and little adoption. So, when it comes to digital transformation, as IT leaders we should focus less on the technology and more on articulating how individuals who adopt technologies contribute to the overall business outcomes. What does success look like when it comes to articulating the contribution of people (not technology) to strategy?
According to Gartner, 84% of CIOs will be thinking how much their role has changed. In the last 3 years alone, not only are top performing CIOs running a busy office, but they are also taking on innovation, the role of a chief digital officer and embracing enterprise change. To explore the statistics further, 93% of a recent survey believed that their organisation was ready for change. However, how ready are the CIOs in engaging the business community, beyond transforming the IT? With this question in mind, IT business leaders need to be thinking how they bring the rest of the organisation with them on the digital journey.
Firstly, champion change in the rest of the organisation, not just the IT department. Key barriers to embracing digital transformation are culture shifts and availability of resources. Collaboration and establishing cross-functional teams are at the heart of getting the business to embrace digital change. The role of a digital transformation team is to combine IT and non-IT teams, be responsible for enterprise transformation and not just IT transformation.
Secondly, focus on the outcome that business teams drive. When IT executives talk about supporting revenue growth, creating business agility and reducing cost, they are more likely to create 'digital urgency' and get the business engaged and invested in digital change. IT budgets are seeing an increase for the first time since 2003. This presents a good opportunity to use the digital agenda as a force multiplier and embed IT at the heart of the business, rather than remaining on the periphery.
Thirdly, create an exploratory environment that fosters dialogue. Strategy is not a one-way street. Working teams need the ability to explore the different avenues in which they can realise it. Furthermore, they need the ability to share it with their team and other teams, to test it and avoid duplication.
Finally, engage the whole business in creating a new business model. Start changing the culture of the wider organisation! Inspire the business leaders. Inspire the followers. Track how you're influencing the business and find ways to spread and accelerate digital change. Then measure how this collaboration is changing the way in which the organisation is working. With collaboration in mind, what do you do to instigate discussion within your business to drive change?
Written by Ecaterina Harling
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