Effective Change Leadership Critical for Successful Digital Transformation

By Peter Reynolds

ARC Report Abstract


Once again, industry is at an inflection point.  Manufacturers and other industrial organizations are starting to exploit artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies opportunistically to transform a variety of industrial processes.  Engineering, operations, maintenance and reliability, and supply chain departments are changing the way they utilize and share data and information.  Here, the ability of modern AI tools to look ahead and predict outcomes differs radically from previous dashboard-type information systems based on historical data, which is often akin to driving a car down the highway by looking in the rearview mirror.  

This fascination with AI is not entirely different than for any emerging technology. In many cases, companies today tend to focus their efforts on the technology alone or, at best, on process improvement without considering other related human factors.  ARC research shows that only a tiny percentage of industrial organizations consider themselves ready for AI or digital transformation and most are not prepared to scale up their respective technology roll outs.

Many in industry believe that company culture is the biggest challenge when implementing a digital strategy. However, while some of the barriers may indeed relate to company culture, ARC research finds gaps in how digital programs address change and in the change leadership skills of the company’s digital advocates.  As mentioned in a recent client report, employee change leadership is one of ARC Advisory Group’s twelve essential elements of digital transformation.

Company Culture Often Blamed for Slow Adoption

Digital Transformation change-leadership-banner.jpgMany technology advocates and project teams will often blame corporate management or company culture as a reason for slow adoption and progress on the digital front line.  According to a phrase often attributed to renowned management consultant and educator Peter Drucker, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” 

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Keywords: Digital Transformation, Change Leadership, Organizational Change, ARC Advisory Group.

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