Intentional Digital Transformation: How a Digital Vision Can Help

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Vision and Intention are the Keys to a Successful Digital Transformation 

Intentional Digital TransformationBusinesses operate in dynamic environments, and to remain competitive, leaders need to adapt and adjust to remain competitive.  This means that businesses are in a constant state of change. However, change is not transformation and may not be intentional. As one brilliant consultant said, a butterfly is not a caterpillar with wings (Obeng, 2021).  In this article, we dig into the power of vision and intention to lead fundamental transformation and avoid change for its own sake.   

The Typical Path to Transformation 

The road to digital transformation often starts with creating goals and objectives. These are then converted into KPIs and metrics to help guide performance. With the goals in place, the transformation team then assesses the current technology and infrastructure.  

The assessment helps to identify the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.  Frequently, this is achieved through a series of internal interviews to capture the insights and knowledge of key stakeholders. This audit can help prioritize the challenges to be addressed by the transformation. 

Once the transformation team has completed its analysis, the next step is to identify the gaps and look for solutions that will help drive the organization toward its intended measures of success. Frequently, these are digital solutions like a market-leading ERP or a CRM solution that solves 80% or more of your requirements (Pombriant, 2021). Finally, the transformation team logically refers to the KPIs and measures of success to track progress and performance post-implementation.  

What is Missing from the Typical Path? 

This approach may create change, but that is not the same as transformation. Taking the caterpillar-butterfly analogy one step further, a caterpillar can change by getting fatter, but that does not make it a butterfly (Obeng, 2021).  In other words, technology is just a tool that can change metrics, but it does not mean the people and processes will evolve. Likewise, KPIs can incentivize new behavior, but employees can focus on the metrics instead of the purpose behind the metrics (Harris & Tayler, 2019).  

VistaVu’s SVP of Technology, Tony Balasubramanian, uses stories to solve this challenge. Yes, stories as in prose. Stories can be powerful transformation tools that help people understand the digital vision behind the KPIs, tech and software. Watch this short video below from The Vu, our new thought leadership series where Brian Hawkins, COO of BigSteelBox, shared his perspective on the power of stories.

 

Stories help leaders like you to lead transformation because they’re relatable. They create a picture that clearly shows the beauty and splendor of the future from the perspective of each stakeholder.  They provide an achievable goal that can be referenced during the transformation process that can benchmark progress. Finally, stories clearly communicate the benefits of the transformation without losing the reader in technical jargon. In short, stories can help leaders integrate different perspectives into a single unified vision.  

Transform with Intention 

As previously discussed, change isn’t always intentional nor transformational. A well-crafted story depicting the digital vision can be shared with employees at every business level. The more that the stakeholders see themselves as characters in the story, the more meaningful the story becomes. In turn, this creates a coherent vision that allows characters to share their story with others and find ways to bring that story to life.  Unlike change, business transformation requires a collaborative group of leaders with the willpower and stamina to manifest the shared vision.

We’ve all seen a customer product review on an ecommerce site that reads, “product did not work as intended.” Acting with intention serves as a gauge when judging if a planned action will contribute to the established goals of a business transformation. Intention enables each business stakeholder to evaluate the steps taken along the way to determine if they have achieved the desired results based on the established vision for the business. 

Design a Vision and Build it with Intent 

Digital transformation is a guided evolution that requires a concrete vision of what the future business will look like, and how it will perform in contrast with its current incarnation. This evolution should be driven by intention so that the decisions and processes used to transform the business keeps stakeholders mindful of the true purpose for the measures of success.  

Watch Episode 2 of the Vu now! – Creating a Vision Before Digital Transformation

References
Harris, M., & Tayler, B. (2019, August 27). Don’t let metrics undermine your business. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://hbr.org/2019/09/dont-let-metrics-undermine-your-business
Obeng, E. (2021, February 28). Your survival guide for our post-covid world – from BC {before covid} to ad. LinkedIn. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/your-survival-guide-our-post-covid-world-from-bc-ad-prof-eddie
Pombriant, D. (2021, August 30). Do you have the right software for your digital transformation? Harvard Business Review. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://hbr.org/2021/08/do-you-have-the-right-software-for-your-digital-transformation

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