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Digital Transformation Uncategorized

The secret to a successful digital transformation? People

Digital transformation is a buzzword familiar to many. It signifies a process that is underway in many industries today, digitalizing traditional business processes to take advantage of emerging technologies such as cloud computing, machine learning, and process automation, just to name a few.

Yet, this understanding of digital transformation implies that a company can simply implement the latest digital technology and they will be transformed.

The reality is, successful digital transformation is more about people than about technology. Technology can’t implement itself and technology alone will help your business transform its operations, and in some cases, its very business model, in order to thrive in the digital age.

To be successful, business leaders must understand that digital transformation requires a fundamental rethinking of your employees behaviors, as well as organizational design and internal processes.

To help, I have compiled several articles below that explain how leaders can create success in their businesses through the people around them, not just the technology they use.

Feel free to reach out with any comments, or if there are any key articles on this topic I have missed.

Digital transformation is human transformation

By @Digitaltonto

Utilizing technology effectively is imperative if you want to stand a chance in a competitive marketplace. But, having the latest technology at your organization and being successful with it are two different things. In this article by Greg Satell, he discusses “managing the cultural and organizational challenges” with people, and how that will create technological success. Read more.

Hacking the human side of digital transformation

By @jbberlin

Change is hard. Our brains are wired to like what’s comfortable, even if it means being stuck and not progressing. In this article, Johann Berlin discusses how human resistance to change can impact digital transformation projects. Berlin believes building the right team rituals in business can create stability during technological change and uncertainty. Read more.

Breaking down the 6 pillars of digital transformation from the CEO’s perspective

By @danielnewmanUV

As a CEO, there are many responsibilities to take on if you want your business to succeed. Particularly, you must take the reins if you want your company to have a successful digital transformation. Daniel Newman discusses how CEO’s can have digital transformation success through 6 pillars: culture, customer experience, people, innovation, change, and leadership. Read more.

CIOs need to consider the human side of digital transformation

By @zkerravala

“Digital transformation is happening faster than ever, putting pressure on IT to change,” says Zeus Kerravala, CIO of ZK Research. These changes that we are expecting to see from IT cannot happen with digital transformation alone – human expertise is crucial. Kerravala highlights 5 areas in which CIOs are noticing a human talent shortage, including data analytics, AI, and cybersecurity, and how employees can fine tune their skills to find digital success. Read more.

How to get digital transformation right? Don’t just focus on the technology

By @AmityMillhiser

Digital transformation has become a priority for many companies, but fewer are having success with it. The focus is too much on the end game and not enough on the journey to get there. Amity Millhiser notes that the thousands of small-steps with co-workers and clients is what it takes to reach your goals. She highlights 3 important steps to help you achieve successful digital transformation, including bringing people on your journey, listening to customers, and leading with value and purpose. Read more.

Is your company ready for digital transformation? Find out with our digital transformation assessment and guide.

Organizational Design Uncategorized

Diversity and Inclusion as Competitive Advantage, in 5 Steps

Originally published on LinkedIn

In an article first published in 2004, Harvard Professor David Thomas argued that the real competitive advantage of a diverse workforce is the capacity of its members to learn from each other so that they can develop an expanded range of competencies that can be applied to all aspects of their work. If this is true, then it would stand to reason that striving for both diversity and inclusion would increase a company’s competitive advantage and impact its bottom line.

Here are 5 steps to increase your company’s competitive advantage by leveraging both diversity and inclusion.

Step 1: Differentiate Between Diversity and Inclusion

The first step is to have a detailed discussion at the senior leadership level on the meaningful differences between the concepts of diversity and inclusion. To achieve competitive advantage, the company leadership must make distinctions between the two. Although a company may boast tremendous diversity among its staff, from administrative teams to management, steps need to be taken to ensure inclusion is part of the overall strategy.

Diversity is variety, inclusion is action. Having people from different backgrounds, with different religion, gender, race, and age from one another is diversity. But a team with diversity doesn’t necessarily mean a team with inclusiveness. Inclusion is more than just random variety, is is purposeful, it requires a culture that mindfully validates and facilitates growth and development of everyone, and that includes variety in every cross section of the whole.

A colleague once constructed the perfect metaphor for differentiating between the two: “Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Step 2: Understand How to Create Opportunities

You should work with senior leaders in the organization to consciously address the “inclusion deficit.” Having people that are different is not enough; people in the organization need to be nurtured, opportunities for advancement need to be created, and more focus needs to be directed toward the retention of these individuals.

Without a sincere effort to improve bias or other barriers a minority group might face within the company, things are not likely to improve. Failure to change the status quo leaves employees without opportunities for advancement and leaves the company without a strategic opportunity to increase its competitive advantage.

Step 3: Re-Evaluate Company Practices

A thorough audit of the company’s practices is imperative to identify specific ways to transform the work environment into a truly inclusive space. Is uniqueness being valued? Are employees made to feel like an insider within the organization? Is there a clear channel for their ideas to be presented and considered? And most importantly: does the senior leadership team’s diversity reflect that of the company’s employees?

It serves no purpose to recruit intelligent employees with diverse backgrounds, unless you create an inclusive environment that allows them to reach their full potential and drive innovation.

Step 4: The Value of Inclusion

In order to persuade the leadership to put their time and attention behind this effort, and to approve an executable plan of action, it is crucial to show them that the biggest value in working towards creating a truly inclusive work space is a boost in competitive advantage; inclusiveness also increases the employee retention rate. And finally, by giving all of the team members a voice and real, tangible opportunities for growth, advancement and development, the company effectively becomes an incubator of new ideas and processes.

The Boston Consulting Group and the Technical University of Munich led a study** in which diversity leaders, HR executives and managing directors at 171 European companies from a wide range of industries and sizes were surveyed. The study demonstrated a clear relationship between the diversity of companies’ management teams and the revenues they get from innovative products and services.

Step 5: Communicate and Implement the New Strategy

Finally, both individual and group discussions with managers and key members of the team need to be held, while being especially careful to curate a diverse team of speaker so that everyone’s concerns can be represented, and sincere, fully supported efforts to address them are implemented. This will increase their sense of belongingness to the organization.

These inclusive practices should be clearly communicated to the entire team, as this sends a strong signal to the company’s employees that they have a chance to be successful within the organization. A successful company strategy is one in which everyone understands that diversity is getting invited to the room, inclusion is getting a seat at the table.

In today’s global economy, a dynamic team embodying diversity and inclusion is better at adapting and reading the market, understanding what a non-homogeneous clientele’s needs and wants are, and delivering a solution that will have a high success rate.

*Thomas, David A. “Diversity as Strategy.” Harvard Business Review 82, no. 9 (September 2004).
** Lorenzo, Rocio et al “The Mix That Matters.” Digital BCG (April 2017).

Change Management

How do you know your organization is ready for digital transformation?

As digital technologies continue to transform entire industries, many organizations are going through large-scale change projects to keep with competitors and digital trends. In a previous post, we asked experts how to get started with digital transformation. But it begs the question: how do you know if your organization is ready for digital transformation in the first place?

Instead of simply giving you our own opinion, we reached out to leading digital transformation experts to give you a compilation of the best thoughts across the field. Specifically, we asked these influencers:

What is the most important success factor in any digital transformation?

Be warned, some of their forward-thinking answers may surprise you!

Dion Hinchcliffe, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

“For a digital transformation to succeed, it must successfully combine and sustain tech change with human change. It’s not enough to seek to remake one’s digital capabilities if you don’t have the people with the talent, mindset, skills, and ability to execute. A digital culture and true freedom to innovate are just as vital as adopting new technology.”

Dion on LinkedIn | @dhinchcliffe on Twitter

Ronald van Loon, Director, Advertisement

“Digital transformation requires agile, customer-centric teams that can easily adapt to the ever changing state of client demands, as well as a solid, end-to-end enterprise data management platform that can help businesses prepare for intelligent capabilities. Combined, they form the backbone for establishing a digital businesses, that can adapt to the ever fluctuating state of technology in a modern world.”

Ronald on LinkedIn | @Ronald_vanLoon on Twitter

Tamara McCleary, CEO, Thulium

“The most important success factor in any digital transformation is people. It’s the culture of an organization that either speeds along or completely stalls digital transformation. Focusing on the culture, the human beings tasked with transformation is the most important success factor.”

Tamara on LinkedIn | @TamaraMcCleary on Twitter

Mike Quindazzi, Managing Director, PwC

“Digital transformation isn’t just about new technologies – it’s about what the technologies can enable humans to accomplish. It involves new business models that solve complex problems, create distinctive customer experiences and accelerate the workforce’s ability to create a competitive advantage.”

Mike on LinkedIn | @MikeQuindazzi on Twitter

Theo Lau, Speaker, Writer, Startup Advisor Founder, Unconventional Ventures

“Having a clearly defined vision of where the company should and needs to be is, in my opinion, the most critical success factor in any digital transformation project. This will help drive the ‘how’ towards the end state, and obtain buy-in for the ‘why’.’”

Theo on LinkedIn | @psb_dc on Twitter

Jim Marous, Co-Publisher, The Financial Brand

“Digital transformation is not about converting paper to PDFs. It is about rethinking underlying processes to take advantage of the benefits of data, advanced analytics and digital technology for a better end result. By starting from the inside-out, costs can be reduced, revenues can be increased, security can be enhanced, errors can be reduced and customer experiences can be improved.”

Jim on LinkedIn | @JimMarous on Twitter

Alvin Foo, Managing Director, Reprise Digital

“Successful digital transformation for any organization starts from the top! The leadership team must be clear with what they want to achieve before the mission can be driven down. The transformation process should be aligned with the customer needs, wants and priorities with digital at the core.”

Alvin on LinkedIn | @alvinfoo on Twitter

Danielle Guzman, Global Head of Social Media & Distributed Content, Mercer

“Culture is the most important factor in digital transformation. It is much more important than technology. Having a strong set of shared values and beliefs that drive a change in behaviors will enable an organization to get through the most challenging hurdles along the way. Ultimately, success comes through a both a top-down and a bottom-up approach.”

Danielle on LinkedIn | @guzmand on Twitter

Chris Becker, CEO at NetEffect

“To maximize your success in digital transformation, you must ensure you have a clear and measurable understanding of your objectives at the top, including the commitment to see the efforts through in the face of obstacles, delays and adversity. This isn’t easy and it takes time. Assess the organization and people side of the transformation – how talent needs, gaps, roles, and skills will change – and most importantly, do not procrastinate on starting this part of the journey.”

Chris on LinkedIn | @beckercs on Twitter

Andreas Staub, Managing Partner at FehrAdvice & Partners AG

“In a word, culture. Digital transformation is successful or fails with human behavior. I love the quote by Clay Shirky: ‘Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new technologies—it happens when society adopts new behaviors.’ Therefore, I’m convinced that culture is the most essential success factor and we have a lot of empirical evidence from projects with banks and insurance companies in Switzerland.”

Andreas on LinkedIn | @andi_staub on Twitter

Michael Krigsman, Industry Analyst

“Digital transformation is about people, not technology. Establishing the right culture, mindset, goals, and metrics is, therefore, a key success factor for any program of digital transformation. Of course,  factors related to people are the hardest to change and demand real attention from senior leaders.”

Michael on LinkedIn | @mkrigsman on Twitter | Website

Tiffani Bova, Growth & Innovation Evangelist

“Digital is about technology. Transformation is about people and motivating teams to change their mindset.”

Tiffani on LinkedIn | @Tiffani_Bova on Twitter

In today’s world, the need to transform your business and embrace digital technology is recognized across almost every industry. However, a real challenge for many organizations is ensuring that the investment of time and energy, which is often heavy, is well spent.  

While no organization can ever be completely ready for a digital transformation, there is a lot you should be doing before the project starts to ensure its success. To help, we created a short, 3-5 minute self-evaluation to help you assess your readiness for success with your project.

Download this self-assessment if you want to:

  1. Identify pain points and vulnerabilities that will help you succeed in your digital transformation journey.
  2. Evaluate how well the platform competitors deal with these challenge areas.
  3. Avoid surprises that can undermine your success.
Change Management Digital Transformation Disruption Organizational Design Technology

Top Reads: 7 Self-Assessment Areas for Digital Transformation and AEM Readiness

Are you in the early stages of undertaking transformative change with your organization? Change can be both exciting and intimidating, depending on your level of preparedness. This is true whether you are adopting an all-in-one experience management system like Adobe Experience Manager or even digitizing paper processes. To help with your preparation, we’ve compiled a fantastic collection of articles in the areas we believe are most critical to a successful transformation.


Successfully implementing a large-scale project requires a deep understanding of your ultimate goal and the strategy that will get you there. You must have a clear vision of success, objectives that tie into your overall business objectives, and a realistic understanding of what can be reasonably achieved.

Leadership commitment

No major transformation is a one-person job. Do you know who your key stakeholders are, and are they engaged and committed to the success of the project? Is your project a priority at the highest level of the organization? Do your executives have the skills to lead the company through the change?

Change management

As we’ve said before, change is hard. There’s simply no getting around it. But being realistic about the magnitude of the change and communicating effectively with your team can go long way toward easing the growing pains you are bound to experience.

Organizational alignment

When you think about your organization as a whole, how would you rate its capacity for change? Large-scale projects require an enormous amount of bandwidth, and the attention and coordination of business units across the enterprise. Having the right culture is an important and often overlooked factor.

Business alignment

An effective digital transformation isn’t simply doing things differently; it can fundamentally change the nature of the business itself. When you assess and redesign your business processes, it can call into question some ‘sacred truths’ about your business and operating models, and force you to redefine what it means to deliver value to your customers.

Technology alignment

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of digital transformation is the promise of new capabilities provided by technology. Even skilled IT teams can be pushed to their limit in adopting new tech. It’s important to recognize when outside expertise is needed, and be open to it. CIOs and other tech leaders will need to be both flexible and disciplined to make the project a success.

Risk and security

Nearly any big change comes with some kind of risk. The important thing is being aware of the risks involved and doing what you can to mitigate them. Maintaining the security and integrity of your data has to be a primary concern.

We hope you’ve found the articles above helpful in preparing you for the change you are about to undertake. Ready to assess just how prepared you are?

Download our 21-point readiness assessment here.

Change Management

Are you ready to succeed in digital transformation of your business?

Whether you have already chosen Adobe as your enterprise marketing platform, or are currently evaluating other options such as Salesforce, Oracle, or IBM, it’s vital to understand how well-positioned you are to succeed at transforming your organization’s content strategy.

The benefits of transforming how you produce and distribute content in your organization are many:

  • new customer acquisition,
  • organic growth of your existing customer base,
  • new product launch awareness,
  • higher search result rankings (SEO),
  • increased earned media,
  • increased marketing team efficiency, and more.

Above all, the opportunity is to create a best-in-class experience for key stakeholders, including customers, employees and target markets.

Choice and access to content is greater than ever. Getting your message through is harder than ever and requires mastery of several key areas:

While technology is often the most tangible and high profile element contributing to your success, it is usually not the greatest challenge facing a digital transformation project. Everything on the technology side can go perfectly and efforts can still fail due to your organization’s inability to plan for and execute change.

We have developed a self-assessment tool to help executives assess readiness for digital transformation and to aid in building a strategy and implementation plan for achieving success.

In our experience, success is based on seven key areas: Strategy, Leadership, Change Management, Organizational Alignment, Business Alignment, Technology Alignment, and Risk and Security. So, we’ve developed 21 questions, 3 in each area, to focus you in on how ready you are to succeed.

No organization is ever fully ready for the digital transformation journey right out of the gate – nor should that be expected. Tireless energy is required to manage and improve capabilities on many fronts. So, don’t worry if, after completing this assessment, you end up on the low end of the spectrum. All the better to gain insight and plan now to address the issues in advance. The journey itself also helps drive actions and learnings that close the gaps and build the capabilities needed for success.

Download this self-assessment if you want to:

  1. Identify pain points and vulnerabilities that will help you success on your digital transformation journey.
  2. Evaluate how well the platform competitors deal with these challenge areas.
  3. Avoid surprises that can undermine your success.
Organizational Design

10 Best Business Operations Practices for Startups

This article was originally published on LinkedIn

Starting a business and hiring your first few employees can seem daunting. Without having a solid foundation, your efforts at managing finances, human resources, marketing, office locations, clients and stakeholders, can quickly become overwhelming. This may compromise a business’ chances of success.

However, following these proven strategies that ensure smooth operations’ practices will position your company for success.

1. Define Who You Are

Have a clear, well-construed message to your growing team, your current and potential clients, and to yourself. What makes your product or service unique? What do you offer that your competitors do not? What does your company want to be when it grows up? Answering these questions will help you understand your competitive advantage and will aid you in securing and retaining top talent. People want to work for leaders with vision, and if you can’t sell the business ideas to your potential employees, how are you going to fare with your clients?

2. Build a Strong Foundation

Clearly define all processes and departments, even if you don’t yet have staff to fill all of the roles. The most fundamental departments every startup should have are Administration, Marketing & Sales, Human Resources, and Accounting & Finance. These will become your sustainable foundation, allowing your company to scale up and maintain its manageability. You do not need to wait for a team to build your departments. I once set up these four basic departments with independent protocols and defined guidelines, despite having a team of just one!

3. Pick the Right Players

The biggest asset you will ever have in any startup is your people, so you must choose your team strategically. This is easier said than done, especially as you try to balance hiring enough people to provide the services that will keep your business afloat with onboarding the profit generators and the support staff that manage the actual business. It can be difficult to retain your star players when your company is growing and you don’t yet have much to offer in perks and benefits. Your clear vision of where you want your company to be in the future can inspire your employees to make them want to be a part of something bigger. Together, you can achieve the results you have envisioned.

4. Manage Your Team Expectations

Having determined your vision of the company’s future and established a sustainable foundation, you need to manage your team’s expectations. Doing so is an ongoing project that requires a clear line of internal communication explaining where the company is, where you want it to go, and how everyone’s contributions will help the company get there. Transparency is paramount, lest you risk losing valuable resources if they feel trust has been broken.

5. Keep Records of Everything

Document all of your processes and archive every document, email, memo, and receipt. Since cloud storage is incredibly affordable these days, take full advantage of it and maintain impeccable records. Pay special attention to your bookkeeping; your accountant will thank you later. The better you keep track of your records, the better your business analytics will be.

6. Manage Your Cash Flow Wisely

Bookkeeping should be a priority, both for the sake of record-keeping as well as a gateway for evaluating your company’s health. Watch your business spending and audit often. Although you cannot fully control the stability of your business income stream, you do have a much bigger control on its spending. Of course, an idea that becomes a business must be fueled by passion. Just don’t forget that actually running a business means you will also need a steady positive cash flow.

7. Automate Your Finances

There are plenty of options for every industry and company size, so there is no need to waste time manually creating invoices, chasing late payments, or processing payroll. Find a solution that works for your business model and remember that the small financial commitment you are dedicating for these services will actually yield anther commodity you might not have enough of: time.

8. Know Your Audience

In a competitive market, it is not enough to simply have a good product. You must also excel in customer service. Great customer service is first and foremost a combination of good communication and adaptability; every client is different and you must be able to meet their unique demands and speak their language while maintaining your company’s standards of quality.

9. Serve Quality

When you make products people want to buy, marketing is secondary. If your product quality leaves much to be desired, no amount of marketing will salvage it. Mistakes happen, and whether you sell a product or a service, addressing mistakes by thoroughly analyzing what went wrong and working to amend it will yield results and improve quality. Your team can use mistakes, and the efforts to correct them, as learning opportunities to fuel growth.

10. Invest in Your Company’s Future

Oftentimes, it becomes tempting to cash in on profits, rather than reinvest in your company growth. You must resist this urge in favor of your company’s future. Take a cue from successful companies like Amazon, whose revenue keeps rising while net profit stays incredibly low. While not every company is going to be the next Amazon, the lesson is the same. Invest in your own growth and plan for the future.

Change Management

Corporate Innovation Q&A with Chris Becker

NetEffect CEO Chris Becker was recently featured in a roundtable discussion on Corporate Innovation hosted by Check out the full discussion here or read Chris’ responses below.

What is one example that comes to your mind when you are thinking of corporate innovation?

A great example of corporate innovation is Starbucks. They have combined their high-quality products and dedicated customer base and deployed a range of innovative digital tools to re-invent their coffee-buying experience. Not only can you pay with your mobile app which is connected to your credit card or PayPal account, but you can also place your order in advance and pick it up at any location – talk about a frictionless experience! Not only is Starbucks innovating in the coffee business, they have become one of the largest mobile payment providers as well.

Through the Starbucks Reward Program, they are collecting large amounts of exclusive customer data that assist them in trying to craft the perfect personalized experience. While other companies definitely use loyalty programs and various digital tools to understand and design a seamless customer experience, to me, Starbucks always seems to be one step ahead of the rest.

Why is corporate innovation getting more attention now than ever before?

With the rise of disruptive platforms like Airbnb, Amazon and Uber specializing in fast and simple customer experiences, CEOs everywhere are realizing they need to innovate in order to keep their businesses relevant in this rapidly changing digital world.

In the past decade, large companies have started to see small startups entering their industries and starting to have an impact. With daily business conversations centering around ‘digital, cloud, mobile, social, big data’, CEOs and business leaders are under increasing pressure to understand and assess the risks and opportunities. Many CEOs have jumped on the innovation bandwagon, as they no longer have an option not to. Corporate innovation is and must continue to be a major topic of conversation.

How are large corporations working with entrepreneurs and startups to improve their business?

Entrepreneurs and startups can hold the key to innovation that corporations often lack. They can breathe life into them with fresh eyes, unique problem-solving skills, critical innovations and the potential to tap into new and expanded markets.

Corporations are not startups and really shouldn’t strive to be. Rather, as discussed by Tendayi Viki, established companies need to create innovation ecosystems, recognizing different areas of the business as distinct business entities, each at a different level of maturity. Some corporations are starting to take this ecosystem approach, which helps them work with entrepreneurs and startups to gain a unique solution to a specific problem.

How can corporations break out of the classic rigidness associated with large rigid organizations and become more flexible?

A common trap for killing innovation is to follow a traditional approach that comes with rigid corporate business models: striking up a project team, creating a committee or having ‘regular meetings’. Forget it. If these activities haven’t worked in the past, even for more standard efforts, why would they work for your most challenging and disruptive priorities?

While there’s no one recipe for success and every business situation is different, learning how to adapt your mindset and organizational culture to digital innovation and transformation only increase your likelihood of success.

Creating disruption from within is about more than launching a new initiative with a catchy name or creating an investment fund. It can’t happen without teaching your people how to think and behave more like entrepreneurs, risk takers, and innovators. You need to make people in all parts of your organization accountable for voicing new ideas, taking chances, challenging norms (and senior management), and moving things forward in a sometimes ambiguous environment.

Without vocal, repeated and demonstrable support for these behaviors, sustained innovation will not happen.

An organization’s people are the drivers of innovation and disruption. Corporate executives need to nurture this environment, not try to control and direct. The ideas that will drive the long-term success of a company do not come from steering committees. People that live and breathe the business, serve customers day in and day out, know the intricacies of the products and services, and understand the good, the bad and the ugly of your company – they are the ones who will lead the way.

Organizational Design

Organization Design: 5 Must-Read Articles to Transform your Business

Clearly, organization design plays a key role in the success of any company – but it goes well beyond some geometric shapes on a page in an employee handbook. There are endless opinions on what is best, but we can generally agree that effective and strategic management of organization design is far more than the traditional adjustment of those lines and boxes and is critical to staying ahead and remaining competitive – no matter what might get thrown your way.

Below, I have suggested 5 articles to give you a good understanding of what strategic, intentional organization design is (and what it isn’t), along with critical fundamentals and practical application tools on getting it right the first time that are universal to most companies regardless of size, demographics or current structure.

Organization design: The Missing Link Between Strategic Planning and Execution

You’ve invested valuable resources into designing the perfect strategic plan. Now what? Your plan isn’t the problem, but your execution could be. In this short read, Ron Capelle offers three critical steps to ensure your new strategic plan moves your company from a carefully constructed theory into real life reality and the results you expect. Read more

Boosting Performance Through Organization Design

Is your business more likely than its peers to be flexible and successfully responsive to changing business conditions? This detailed article is based on a late 2016 survey of 1,100 executives and other employees at companies with more than 1,000 employees, representing ten industries in more than 40 countries. In it, BCG offers in-depth discussion, analysis, supporting evidence, links to related articles, and recommendations regarding six factors of organizational design most likely to influence a company’s performance, growth and profits.

“A company that incorporates all six will benefit from a multiplier effect: its chance of becoming a top performer increases to more than 50%”.

Read more

How Organization Redesign Could Help You Survive The Age of Disruption

In these times of disruption, fast and furious is generally the rule. To not only keep up, but to stay ahead, Steve Olenski explains that organizations need to “maintain a strong yet adaptive organizational design.” But how? In this article, you will learn four effective steps to clarify what to keep and where to improve, and lay strengthening groundwork to continually adapt and remain competitive. Read more

10 Guiding Principles Of Organization Design

Top CEOs recognize the need for organization change, but they also understand that “shifting the lines and boxes in an org chart” won’t cut it in this business environment.

“A company must make its changes as effectively and painlessly as possible, in a way that aligns with its strategy, invigorates employees, builds distinctive capabilities, and makes it easier to attract customers.”

With an average tenure of only five years, global company CEOs generally have one shot to get it right. However, companies across all industries and geographies can benefit from the fundamental principles offered. Gary L. Neilson, Jamie Estupiñán, and Bhushan Sethi have compiled this article that is well worth the longer read as it provides the sustainable “how to” for leaders whose strategies require a different kind of organization than the one they have today. Read more

Getting Organizational Redesign Right

Initiating organization change that results in disappointment obviously leads to reduced-morale, wasted time and lost expense, not to mention hesitancy and skepticism towards trying again. The good news is that leaders can dramatically increase their odds for success…the first time…using the nine golden rules illustrated in this article. Read more

Change Management

Change Management in Your Organization

In previous posts, we’ve shared some expert opinions for getting started with digital transformation, as well as some recommended reading on the topic. And while technology gets a lot of the attention, the truth about transformation is it has more to do with people. ‘Transformation’ means change. Change is hard. So I’ve compiled a handful of articles of interest to any leader responsible for change management within their organization.

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Change Management

“With serial transformations becoming the norm, a key strategic question for any corporate leader is, How can we make our next transformation flourish?”

In this piece from HBR, N. Anand and Jean-Louis Barsoux lay out some common ‘transformation traps’, including getting distracted by too many priorities. Read more

Why We Need To Rethink Organizational Change Management

Even with the best of intentions, many organizations are simply not set up to manage change well. Consider the organizational design of your company – is it nimble or is it rigid? Do change mandates come exclusively from the top, or are individual team members empowered to contribute ideas and find solutions? You can communicate about change all you want, but it will continue to be painful if your company is designed for stability instead of agility. Read more

12 Principles of Successful #CEM Change Management

Change is hard, and it’s also inevitable. And perhaps one of the hardest things to change is the experience your customer has throughout the course of their interactions with the various touchpoints of your business. If you’re having trouble getting your team to adopt the change you want to see, your organization may be experiencing change fatigue. Have a look at these 12 principles of customer experience change management, expanded from Dr. John Kotter’s 8-step process for leading change. Read more

Change Management for Digital Transformation: What’s different?

It’s not enough for CIOs to address the technical components of change. An effective change management strategy must address a company’s culture, not just its processes. CIOs will have to work collaboratively with the rest of the executive team to enact meaningful, permanent change beyond IT.

“…it’s not necessarily the competition that’s going to change the way you do business, it’s the customer.”

Read more

5 Ways to Lead a Change Management Initiative

Some projects, when executed successfully, have the potential to take your business to the next level. Those same projects can be disastrous for a company if they fail. In this piece, Andy Crowe list five best practices to follow to make sure your change management initiative is successful. Read more

Change Management Disruption Technology

Corporate Innovation: 5 Must-Read Articles

In a previous post, I drew your attention to 5 articles I consider ‘must read’ for anyone interested in digital transformation. In a similar vein, the articles in this post are centered around corporate innovation, i.e. the intrapreneurship that happens in large companies, allowing them to evolve and grow like startups. Below are some recent articles on the topic of corporate innovation that I highly suggest you check out.

PS: interested in keeping up to date via Twitter? Subscribe to our Corporate Innovation Twitter list for thought leaders to follow.

The Business Case Alternative: How to Support Disruptive Innovation at a Large Company

What’s keeping large companies from innovating? After all, they have more resources than most startups can even dream of, and yet they struggle to launch and sustain novel, game-changing projects. As Steve Glaveski points out in this piece, many large firms use metrics that work well for traditional projects, but fail to adequately measure new and innovative ones. He goes on to explain how disruptive ideas differ from incremental improvements, and how big companies can allocate resources to help them flourish. Read more

Confessions of a change agent: How I get Fortune 500 companies out of their ruts

Every company gets ‘stuck’ at some point or another. Even large, successful ones. In this (massive) article for GrowthLab, change agent Thomas Cornwall explains how he helps established companies break out of their ruts and build fresh momentum. It’s a longer read, but absolutely worth it. Read more

Five Principles for Building Corporate Innovation Ecosystems

Tendayi Viki, author of The Corporate Startup, argues that established companies should not try to behave like brand new startups. Instead, they need to create innovation ecosystems, recognizing different areas of the business as distinct business entities, each at a different level of maturity.

“[Established companies] have to be clear that they are not simply searching for cool new ideas. It is the combination of cool new ideas and profitable business models that defines successful innovation.”

In this article, Viki summarizes the five principles from his book that established companies can use to build their innovation ecosystems. Read more

Why Cross-Functional Teams Fail, and How Solver-Teams Sail!

If you’ve ever run a ‘cross-functional’ team project, you know how difficult it can be to get people from different departments to work together to a shared outcome. In this piece by Ajay Shrivastava, he explains how ‘Solver’ teams differ from cross-functional ones, and how you can align those teams within your organization. Read more

10 Powerful Innovation Principles for Market Disruption

These days, companies must innovate if they want to survive. In every industry you can think of, startups in hyper-growth mode are nipping at the heels of incumbents – if not challenging them outright. So how can companies learn to innovate, in order to compete? As Marc Foglino says of this post, “Innovation is hard, but these ten innovation principles might help you to improve your chances of success.” Read more