Essential Elements of Digital Transformation Change Leadership

By Peter Reynolds

Industry Trends

While many companies are focused on the new technologies that are fueling the trends few understand the importance of addressing change leadership before technology.  There is a lot written regarding digital transformation, Industry 4.0 or the digitization of manufacturing.  It is important to understand the tools and technologies that enable digital transformation, but essential to understanding your organization's digital change leadership and how people are equipped with the various techniques and styles essential to lead transformation across an entire organization.

Digital Change leadership

Digital Change leadership requires special skills and a culture of "early involvement." IT Professionals, Engineers and project managers have often have not been trained in this area. Sure many are all skilled at "managing change" - process safety or ITIL demands this. This early involvement culture may be part of an organization's intellectual property and competitive edge. The ability to execute transformational processes require vision, skills, and enthusiasm at all levels of the organization with active participation by change leader and employee.

Some industry leaders attribute employee change strategies as their ability to motivate and mobilize their people.  They are agile, able to do new things and do them fast.  They quickly align key stakeholders around the challenge, involve them in the solution and get the entire organization engaged in adopting it. Leaders and managers are challenged to roll up their sleeves and tackle a realistic change project.  More than 75 percent of their time is spent on team-based project work, leading a change from analysis through to planning and implementation.  

Risk-Averse Culture

People impacted by digitalization need to feel that they are a part of a change journey.  Digitalization may also push for abilities for which processes are not ready, therefore, change leadership training is essential. The leadership of some companies recognizes there is a more effective way to create and manage change.  However, there is also a culture within these companies that often chooses to leave the boat “un-rocked.” Traditionally it has been the process manufacturers who have been most risk-averse and resistant to change  - but low oil prices have created a shift in thinking. The reasons decision-makers do not embrace change is commonly due to fear, lack of information, the fear of failure, the fear of the unknown, fear of peer acceptance, and even fear of success.

Before you consider your next disruptive technology or digital transformation initiative, ask the question -  how well prepared is my organization to deliver change?

Change Leadership


Engage with ARC Advisory Group