Digital Transformation
min read

The problem with digital transformation

Leaders often do not spend enough time evaluating their current workforce prior to onboarding new transformative resources.
businesswoman cultivating growth
Article author
Written by
Stacey Winter
Published on
June 1, 2022
Last updated on
December 28, 2023

A lot of people embark on digital transformation programs with a real focus on a five-year strategy of technology evolution, intended to move them away from legacy on-premise technology and into the digital world. But they tend to think about it as something that needs to be a greenfield program running independently of the organisation.

Many times experts from outside of the organisation are brought in to drive the transformation, which can create additional problems. They do not necessarily know the culture, they don't understand how to navigate the organization, and they don't know its history. Moreover, this approach often creates a lot of angst amongst the existing staff because they have been in the organisation for many years without a lot of vocational investment. Suddenly a new shiny consultant comes in and if bullish will tell them what issues they have and how to fix them sometimes without listening, which may result in a massive divide in the organisation. A lot of senior leaders do not spend enough time evaluating their current workforce prior to onboarding new transformative resources but it's actually the first action that they should undertake.

Evolution at Maxima

We're undergoing our own growth period and one of the key things about Maxima is that it puts its people first. Having worked together on a lot of the baseline foundational changes over the last weeks, we've all understood that meeting each other in person was really important. It allowed us to better understand not only our cultural differences but also our unique ways of thinking.

We've got very different skills: leadership, business, and design knowledge. Bringing all those things together can sometimes create a problem. However, finding a common ground as a group of people, allows everyone to understand each other more and look forward together. This way, the job you did only by yourself yesterday, becomes ten times easier with the support you got today. But most large organizations in the market don't necessarily put a lot of value in that. They don't understand how big of an asset their employees are, and therefore a lot of capabilities stay untapped and have never been invested in.

Set yourself up for success

The organizations wanting to get digital transformation right should start by employing a couple of people with expertise that allows them to create the foundational program. They should not be involved in the work done for clients, which takes everyone else's focus. They need to spend their time assessing the abilities of the existing workforce, speaking to everybody, understanding their motivations, and learning how much investment has been made in the organization already. 

Bringing the right experts in will cut down the transformation cost straight away. People often misunderstand what they need in their new and future organization, but a transformation expert will find out if, for instance an existing test manager has all skills needed to become a qualified Scrum Master. This will not happen if nobody ever asks that person about upskilling. The last time their manager looked at this person's CV was when they were joining the company years ago. Nobody in the organization knows if that employee has invested in themselves in the last ten years and can now actually offer something completely different and digitally relevant.

The technology environment is dominated by introverted personalities. Large organizations know this but still don't make efforts to talk to their employees and learn about them as individuals. Leaders of today have the responsibility to change this.

Many enterprises are undergoing some form of transformation, whether it be technological or organizational. Yet the question that’s asked too rarely still is: what makes a successful transformation?

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