Rise to the challenge: Digital transformation is not just an opportunity, but a necessity

June 5, 2020 By: Mario Ciabarra

We find ourselves in a time of continuous learning, listening, and gaining perspectives. Not every challenge is the same, but I am so grateful to be able to hear directly from other leaders around me so that I can incorporate their lessons into my processes.

As I think back to this roundtable, the most universal takeaway was the speed at which digital transformation was accelerating across all organizations. We polled our attendees and found that 80% had sped up their digital efforts since the start of the pandemic. That’s huge.

There is something unifying in that response… Despite the various industries, target customer, infrastructures, many businesses are all facing this challenge of keeping up with digital needs right now.

A participant from a bank even noted how this time has affected their digital focus.

As the discussion continued, several talking points stood out to me that I have outlined below:

You cannot eliminate risk, but instead have to manage risk

When organizations are planning digital transformation initiatives they tend to review the scope, resources, and time involved. But risk should also be included as a fourth consideration – how much can you tolerate?  Find out where you can take risks, and how to mitigate it because that is core to how you react. In sailing, we like to say if something doesn’t break, it’s built too heavy. 

There is no recovery from indecision

In a time that is rife with uncertainty, it is even more crucial to make decisions that push the team forward. Do not let the fear of failure get in the way. It is better to choose and later course correct than to never make a choice. In fact, you learn more from making mistakes and now is the chance to try, fail, pivot and try again. 

Digital transformation is about choice

Digital transformation is every single employee’s responsibility

The key to transformation is that it has to find its root with the customer and thread its way into and throughout the organization. The organization as a whole needs to adopt a digital mindset that this is where we are going to go together. Digital leaders need to be equipped with the attitude,  aptitude, and willingness to keep learning and structure the organization around that perspective.

Another session in the books that will stay with me… Let us know about other inspirational leadership learnings you’ve seen and experienced!

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