5 ways leaders can maximize the value of digital transformation

By Gene Parker | Enterprisers Project | February 6, 2023

Technology has been growing exponentially for years, doubling by various measures every two years. Industry experts predict digital transformation activities to exceed 3,700B by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6 percent. Given this growth rate, business leaders must continuously improve leadership talent, strategic partnerships, and organizational capabilities.

Broad interest in digital transformation as a strategic focus has always driven demand. Many organizational activities, such as effective organizational change managementprogram management, and large-scale delivery frameworks, also remain relevant. The speed with which new transformations are needed to meet customer demand, changing demographics, and competitive pressures require ever-changing leadership tactics and skills.

While specific technical skills and a track record of success are valuable to leading a successful transformation, the ability to create and maintain a dynamic culture is equally important. The following five areas will help leaders build and lead teams that align your organization’s mission, vision, budget, people, technology strategies, and measurable outcomes.

1. Become an expert change manager

There is no boilerplate approach to managing change. Organizational change management (OCM) plans will be unique to each business and influenced by myriad factors, including current leadership, prevailing culture, business objectives, and existing technology.

Understanding OCM philosophies and tactics will provide a solid foundation to evaluate current needs, execute the required analysis, and generate the routines and outputs that mark effective OCM programs with a focus on communications and iterative refinements.

As a leader, you should strive to be a subject matter expert (SME) in your functional discipline and someone who can support the delivery of business goals. Organizations can help leaders become SMEs through Agile, project, program management, and OCM training. Many companies also partner with consulting organizations to gain specific skills that support business objectives and mentoring initiatives. This combination can yield unique frameworks that help your organization meet individual business needs.

OCM budgets tend to be addressed last and are the first cut when things get tight. Infusing OCM tactics into a delivery culture as standard parts of work outputs will help to ensure continuous infusion into transformation programs. Specific training checks, communication outputs, or common deliverable creation can be integrated into routines no matter your larger delivery frameworks (i.e., Agile/Scrum, waterfall, custom methodology, etc.).

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By MIT Sloan CDO