the hidden secret to digital transformation

Every organisation is looking to transform what they are doing. There's a major role for good internal comms. Did you know?

by Kane Simms 

There’s one thing that’ll guarantee digital transformation success… and it’s not what you think.

It’s not the:

  • Digital design
  • Integration
  • User centricity
  • UX design
  • Data and analysis
  • Agile methodology
  • Lean processing
  • And so on

Long lasting digital transformation hinges, like everything else in life, on people. It depends on your staff.

Your staff have the service area expertise needed to design epic digital services and their enthusiasm and involvement is critical to solutions being adopted. Without your staff’s investment, you’ll be short-cutting back to old habits quicker than Paul Gascoigne leaving rehab.

You see, to many - especially the traditional or ‘old school’ folk - ‘digital’ is scary. It’s confusing. It’s unpredictable. It’s a threat. It’s job losses. And ’transformation’ is just a fancy word for change, which many in local government find about as comfortable as concrete cinema seats. Change means uncertainty, unpredictability, discomfort and… Yep, job losses.

However, things are only ever confusing when we’re lacking understanding. As soon as we understand something, it’s not confusing anymore and everything else starts making sense. Once we can make sense of things, we can feel more confident about the future. And once we’re confident about the future, there’s more chance of us being inspired to help create it.

So how do we inform our staff and inspire them to help us move forward?

Understanding levels of understanding

First of all, we need to work out what it is that staff don’t know. What is it that causes them anxiety? Where’s the gap in their understanding? If we identify this, we can work out what issues we need to address.

Secondly, ask your staff what they want from their job, their work and which direction they think the company should go. You might get some good ideas, and at the very least, if you understand where they’re coming from, you’ll know where to focus when selling your vision.

Third, what is that vision? And why does it exist? Don’t just jot this down from memory, gather your research and prove your reasoning with indisputable data.

Lastly, think about how you’re going to communicate all this. Think about:

  • Who are your communicating with? Personalities? Attitudes? Behaviours?
  • What channels will you use?
  • Who do you need help from? Who’s influential? Who do people listen to?
  • How long will it take you?
  • What does success look like?

Go through the four steps above and, in its most basic form, you’ll have the basis of an internal comms strategy ready to go here and here.

Maybe that’s the real secret?

Kane Simms is a digital consultant and host of Channel Shift TV.

Picture credit.