Strategic Advisor, GAVS, Partner at Get Digital Velocity, Business Coach at FocalPoint Business Coaching
Moving from a traditional business model and operations to a Digital Business is a massive undertaking that needs to be approached in bite size steps. There are many areas within talent, operations, and technology that will significantly change throughout the transformation. This article touches on one area of talent: digital transformation requires a digital mindset.
There are 5 aspects of a Digital Mindset:
- Behaviors and attitudes that see possibility in the digital era
- A belief in the power of technology
- An abundance mentality
- Comfort with ambiguity
- A growth outlook
Aspect #1: Individual & organizational behaviors and attitudes that see the possibility in the digital era. You must believe digital is within reach as a prerequisite to taking any action. An attitude that sees the possibility of digital as producing positive business outcomes is more likely to come up with ideas, test them and refine them until a superior outcome is achieved. Without the right attitude, no amount of knowledge and hard work will land a company in a better place. Here’s a fun puzzle from one of my FocalPoint colleagues, Phil Gilkes:
Aspect #2: a belief in the power of technology to systematize, scale and speed up every interaction. We are all familiar with and are likely still using traditional technology that promised to make our lives easier and seems to constrain us in many ways. So, it’s hard to believe that a modernly architected Platform or Software as a Service (PaaS/SaaS), is really going to systemize, scale, and speed up every interaction. BUT IT WILL! Modernly architected solutions are completely different than traditionally architected solutions. There are 3 technology accelerators that are the basis of the current exponential growth in technology: computer power, bandwidth and storage. Traditional technology is built on early generations of these accelerators. To take advantage of the current generation of these accelerators, modern technology platforms have been re-architected to leverage the latest versions. Believe in modernly architected solutions and you will find a plethora of examples through simple Google searches to substantiate your belief! These modernly architected solutions can be implemented in days and weeks, and will dramatically improve business operations. You can’t get to digital with traditional technology (and a whole new way of working).
Aspect #3: An abundance mentality is collaborative, open, thankful, appreciative, and trusting. The traditional business world is built on a mentality of scarcity. This drives the need to keep IP a secret, beat your competitors and fight the war to get the best talent. We are now living in a world where the pace of business continues to accelerate at a rapid pace. Long standing traditional businesses that learn to move 10-50 times faster than they have in the past are the ones that will keep up. We often see Natively Digital companies being founded by people that were frustrated with the pace of taking new ideas to market in those traditional companies. Digital companies have an abundance mentality. They share and actively collaborate with universities, partners and even competitors to create new IP. They believe there is space for all companies to grow, and competition is minimal if they continue to focus on their customer and evolve their solutions at a rapid pace. And they get beyond the war for talent by leveraging alternate talent sources such as freelancers, the gig society, crowd sourcing, partners and interns.
Aspect #4: Comfort with ambiguity is necessary as there is simply a lot of ambiguity during any transformation. According to The Business Dictionary, the word transformation is defined as a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness.1 This magnitude of change requires people to let go of their comfortable way of doing things, have faith that the messy path to doing things differently will pan out, and unlearn things they knew to be true in the past. Even though the path is ambiguous, apply new ways of working such as agile to quickly define, build and test solutions that can be adjusted along the road to getting to a final outcome.
Aspect #5: Having a growth outlook in the digital age means you are an explorer, have agility, adjust to change, thrive in diversity, and seek resources & answers. I could go on. It’s a great culmination of Aspects 1-4. Using the preceding aspects of mindset with a growth outlook is what enables people and companies to find new solutions, products and ways of working, that are aligned with their customers and worthy of some rapid prototyping and testing. The desire and ability to continuously grow, requires that you are also continuously transforming. And at the rate of digital business and the exponential growth in technology, digital transformation is here to stay.
Embrace this digital mindset to stay on the path of digital tranformation: behaviors and attitudes that see possibility in the digital era; a belief in the power of technology; an abundance mentality; comfort with ambiguity; and a growth outlook.
Definition of Transformation http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/transformation.html
Kerrie Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and freelancer specializing in business growth and Digital business. She is Co-founder and principal for Get Digital Velocity, and owner of a FocalPoint Business Coaching Practice. As a freelancer, Kerrie is Lead Strategist for The Congruity Group and speaker at Industry venues.