Often, the process of culture change within digital transformation can feel like you are trying to get to the moon and back. But, when it feels like you're doing that epic journey on your own, it's even more daunting. We use the phrase “everyone's and no-one's” all the time across our consulting, as it so accurately summarises the key challenge for any project of this nature. The route to failure is that everyone needs to take ownership but there is a risk that no-one then holds ultimate responsibility. As a result, no group of people take ownership and pride in actually getting it underway. This results in a meandering flight path at best and a crash landing at worst.
If you have been assigned leadership, or even a supporting role, in such a project then a lot can be taken from the moon landings when it comes to collaboration, team work, and effective collaboration.
If “the iPhone 6’s clock is 32,600 times faster than the best Apollo era computers and could perform instructions 120,000,000 times faster. You wouldn’t be wrong in saying an iPhone could be used to guide 120,000,000 Apollo era spacecraft to the moon, all at the same time"; then arguably the real success factor in the Apollo missions was not the revolutionary technology they used but the incredibly committed and passionate people working together with a clear shared goal and a clear vision.
Considering the organisational impacts any digital transformation project will have and factoring these into your plan of action is the only way to ensure long-term success.
This is not just about a belief in the need for people to be at the heart of a proper change programme. It’s born out of sound experience. Around “70% of change programmes fail”, in no small part because the people part isn’t considered until after the event. We consider people as part of a holistic whole approach that is inclusive, transparent and owned by the teams involved from the get-go. By building a coalition of the willing and helping to up-skill them in the ways of leveraging collaborations and influence across the organisation extant from the day job and job title, we present a real alternative to the standard external consulting model.
We have invested in creating a skills development programme that embeds digital roadmap outcomes into the outputs of the training, experiential learning and action learning modules our clients teams undertake.
Because, people matter. In fact, they are intrinsic to success.
From experience, we have learned that simply knowing the digital landscape, the likely future trends and what has worked before is not enough anymore. No amount of recommendation and reporting will work if the teams that will actually “do the do” are not included in the start of the journey. They must be invested in the outcome, be clear on the WIIFM factor (What’s In It For Me) and be the voice and advocate for the digital transformation programme. That passion and connection will then support the resilience they’ll need to see it through. They need to form the 'coalition of the willing'.
We continue to be commissioned to work on digital transformation projects because we offer a joined up, people-centred approach that is more likely to succeed as a result. 'Digital', these days, requires infinitely more computing power than NASA could have contemplated at the time of Apollo 11, but the people matter just as much (perhaps even more) than the technology, when it comes to landing on the moon.
As Dr Norman Vincent Peale once said; "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." Dream big, but plan even bigger.
If you're looking for a partner in digital transformation that not only know about what a successful digital transformation programme is, but also, how to enable your staff to deliver it, why not give us a shout? One of our consulting team would be happy to meet or chat on the phone and explain in more depth how we do, what we do. Give us a call or drop us an email on the details below.