Transformation Part 3 – Keys to continued success

Digital transformation - keys to continued success

In the first 2 parts of this series, we looked at the route to transformation and how to succeed from the start. In part 3, I’m going to dive into the best practices for continued success in your digital transformation program.

Embrace failing forward

For many people, the word failure is a negative – so why would I offer this as a best practice for success? Simply put, it’s because failing forward is not about embracing failing; it is about achieving success.

Failing forward is also called intelligent failure, and it is a concept that aims for innovation, agility, learning and resilience – all of which are advantages during transformation. Essentially, when you accept that (small) failures may inevitably occur, you make room for innovation and change. By removing the fear of failure, organizations can respond more productively, learning more from mistakes and making greater steps forward faster. So this best practice is about cultivating an attitude that facilitates rapid change.

There is a big difference between the DNA of many large corporations and startups. For startups, it may be easier to embrace failing fast and often in order to fail forward, because they are constrained by limited resources, so they are more open to risk. Within the culture of many large corporations, failure is often avoided. Such companies will go to great lengths to avoid the risk of even partial failure, but without the opportunities to learn from mistakes, their progress can be hampered.

When it comes to digital transformation, an open attitude to uncertainty becomes crucial to success. There is still a lot of hype around the promise of big data, analytics and the connected enterprise, and no-one has all the answers yet. The benefits cannot always be neatly quantified upfront – but if the fear of (partial) failure is too strong, transformation programs will be killed before they can begin.

Having said this, failing forward does not mean taking unnecessary risks. As described in Part 2 of this series, it is better to start small (and be open to learning) than to begin with an over-sized waterfall project in which failure cannot be tolerated. Instead, provide the opportunity to learn during your transformation. Test a hypothesis and reject, iterate or adjust it as you go. The moment all the assumptions are validated, there is nothing to stop you from scaling up fast.

Early adopters always win

The pace of innovation and the adoption of new technologies are only speeding up. It took decades for the telephone to reach 50% of households, but it took five years or less for cell phones to accomplish the same. Today, large companies need to anticipate new technology trends even faster to stay successful.

According to the global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI), there is a surprisingly low risk and large reward when adopting new technology. This global survey illustrates an interesting statistic: companies that are actively exploiting analytics, big data, cloud and mobility have on average 50% higher revenue growth rates than organizations who have not adopted these technologies yet. These same organizations also reported that one or more of those new key technologies were responsible for several other areas of company progress, including increased efficiencies and organizational growth.

Innovation is unlikely to slow down; if anything, it will probably accelerate further. Our customers have already achieved great benefits in their organizations by leveraging advanced analytics. So don’t wait to transform. Start leveraging new technologies as quickly as possible – it is your key to future success.

Management of change is critical for success

As mentioned in Part 2, transformation cannot only be pushed top-down. However, in order to truly engage stakeholders throughout the organization and get everyone pulling in the same direction, a plan is needed. This is where having an effective Management of Change program comes in.

A Management of Change program is the key to shifting behavior and reshaping organizational culture during transformation. Rather than describing a vision, such a program actively helps people to change. By focusing on a finite initiative, the way things work inside the company is shifted. If that shift is in line with your digital transformation program, it will assist in moving you forward.

According to the Mckinsey influence model, there are 4 aspects that need to be tackled if you want that people change their behavior. They will change if:

  • They have a proper insight and understanding of why to change. They need to agree to a certain extent that the change is meaningful to them.
  • They have developed the right talent and skills so they have the capabilities to behave in a new way and to be successful. Training, onboarding and academy models need to be designed in an optimal way.
  • They see Role modeling and culture change. Change requires that people see that their leaders, peers and reports all behave in the new way.
  • There is reinforcing with formal mechanisms. The structures, processes and systems support the desired change.

Start your journey

Now that you understand the 5 keys to digital transformation, you can see how they work together in combination, each synergistically adding to the other.

When you plan to manage change as part of a vision of a new (transformed) future, you can enlist the support of your leaders and stakeholders throughout the organization to begin with a small project. Having overcome the fear of potential failure in that initial project, you can move faster to start benefiting from new technologies and overcome the internal barriers to success. And by approaching the journey to transformation with the help of proven best practices, your company will open the door to previously hidden opportunities for growth.

If you’re ready to begin, or you’d like more information about how TrendMiner can support your transformation initiative, start a conversation with us. Our team is on hand to help you achieve success.


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The route to digital transformation

Learn more about the keys to digital transformation
Discover the 5 best practices for achieving success in digital transformation. Download the new ebook by TrendMiner CEO Bert Baeck for an overview of the keys to success during disruption. This featured content resource can help guide your organization in making your transformation initiative a success.

Sitech webinar on demand

Learn how others have benefited
Hear from Marc Pijpers of Sitech how using industrial analytics enabled production performance optimization and accelerated digital transformation. In this webinar, you will see 3 real-life use cases that show how Sitech used (predictive) industrial analytics to contextualize asset performance with process data.