Unqualified leadership is a fast track to digital transformation failure.
On top of determining the right digital tools to implement, guiding the rollout, and providing effective training, leaders must be prepared to address the challenges and frustrations that manifest in employee resistance.
You know that digital transformation is the right thing for your business. But your employees don’t necessarily view the need for change from the same vantage point.
Guiding your organization through the course of digital evolution requires a new set of leadership qualifications and traits. We call those most qualified to lead “digital transformation architects” for their ability to construct the whole picture and build long-lasting change.
Here are the top six traits of digital transformation architects.
Being able to clearly communicate the need for change and how it will take place is absolutely fundamental to effective digital transformation leadership.
Digital transformation architects are experts at communicating with employees, establishing expectations, and aligning teams around a common goal.
They also appreciate the value of collaboration and sharing ideas. The most effective leaders seize every opportunity to gather input — from fellow leaders, employees, and even customers — while ultimately determining the direction of change.
Failing to communicate enough, on the other hand, sets your transformation up for failure. Employees depend on their leadership to clarify the need for change and provide ample guidance along the way. If they feel unsupported, stress and worry will make your staff resistant.
A digital transformation architect understands the need for a strategy that not only includes targets and deadlines but also provides contingencies for any potential problems that could arise.
First, he or she must anticipate the cultural issues that might stand in the way. Do you have a digital culture? Is using data to drive decisions a standard in your organization?
If the answer to these questions is no, it’s important to address them before diving into a wide-scale change.
Another issue to anticipate has to do with software usability. The most capable enterprise technology also tends to be complex and challenging to master. Digital transformation architects recognize this and seek solutions that enable them to view the user journey and safeguard the user experience.
According to Forrester, between 60% and 73% of all data go to waste. Today, you’re likely collecting mass amounts of data. But simply having data in your possession won’t lend you value unless you know how to extract meaningful insights from it.
Digital transformation architects understand the power of data and exploit it to ensure they achieve the maximum ROI on their software investments.
With an insights platform that lets you take a detailed, 360-degree look at the user journey, you can understand exactly where users struggle to complete tasks, how much time they spend on certain processes, where they drop off, and most importantly, how you can optimize them.
User data is invaluable to successful digital transformation, so it’s imperative to know how to use it.
The most qualified digital transformation leaders are innovative thinkers. They think beyond what’s working today and seek ways to excel in the future. They have a keen eye for identifying ways to optimize processes and ways of thinking, and they never settle for the status quo.
Beyond that, digital transformation architects inspire and encourage their employees to embrace innovation. They routinely solicit ideas and feedback from colleagues and staff, embrace new ideas, and experiment. They promote a fail-fast attitude and value trying new things.
Strategy is foundational for a digital transformation architect. Knowing how to create a viable and effective strategy is a major predictor of overall success.
But while clearly outlining your digital transformation strategy is important, the most successful leaders understand that they need to leave room for flexibility. The strategy must have a careful balance between planned details and agility so that it can bend to external forces without breaking.
Being agile means having the ability to adapt to change quickly and deal with disruptions or challenges through rapid shifts in behavior.
Digital transformation is not a quick process, but it must be an agile one. Being too rigid not only makes it difficult to face unexpected problems, but it also limits your creativity and innovation.
Perhaps one challenge that comes up will give you the idea to steer one aspect of your strategy in a different direction. It’s important to be open-minded and willing to adapt to the current situation — whatever that may be.
Be the digital transformation architect your organization needs
Leading digital transformation requires a nuanced approach — a combination of strategy and planning with flexibility and creativity.
But no matter your end goals, cultivating the traits of a digital transformation architect will place you on track to succeed.
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WalkMe pioneered the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) for organizations to utilize the full potential of their digital assets. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and contextual guidance, WalkMe adds a dynamic user interface layer to raise the digital literacy of all users.