D Justhy

Digital Transformations: Link Talent to Value With These Five Steps

You are a leader in your organisation, with a specific mandate of leading the digital transformation initiative. 

It’s crucial. It’s critical. It’s vital.

Your current organisation is quite “traditional”. Your technology landscape is saddled with legacy applications and a very strong legacy culture that resists change. Of course, the organisations do realise that change and transformation are a necessary part of survival and growth in the digital age.

Chief Digital Officer,  Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Data Officer and many more new labels are in full flow.

The CEO and the leadership teams now know the full potential of the new digital organisation. When  fully enabled the results would be dramatic. 10x results are possible through efficiency gains and revenue growth.

But, the real issue. The current organisation with a legacy mindset!

Its clear that a digital transformation program dramatically overhauls any traditional organisation. But, why can’t the transformation be graceful, sensitive and respective of a legacy culture?

Well, the real culprit is the mindset that one needs to “overwrite” the other. It could rather be one that could “pivot” into another through systematic training, development and nurturing program.

Clearly many large organisations have decades of legacy culture to transform. Tools and technologies alone won’t do it. It’s rather the acceptance that value creation is the primary focus in the digital world. Of course, the natural step is to accept that talent needs to be linked to value.

A traditional paradigm calls for “top down” changes, when transformations happen. However, an alternate approach could be to target changes synchronously by scientifically aligning talent to value. 

Here’s how, this can be done.

  1. Identify the business processes that are most valuable to the business, in the current (non-digitalised) business model as well as the target (digitalised) business model
  2. Identify the involved people and assess their current talents and skills, while benchmarking to a the target state talent and skill needs
  3. Map the people with the best talents (high performers) to fill in roles with the highest impact to value
  4. Train the rest of the organisation to meet the established benchmark standards
  5. Ensure that “biases” are eliminated or minimised for maximum impact & improve continuously

Positioning the best people into the most important roles does not happen by chance in a digitalisation initiative. It requires a disciplined look at where the organisation really creates value and how top talent contributes to that value, despite legacy culture, local politics and external pressures.

Digital age leadership is a new ball game for traditional leaders. Fortunately, currently available tools, methods and practices are adequate to help leaders drive this change. And data is certain to help keep control of these changes. 

As Jack Welch says, “Keep Learning”.

More on this available in The Billion Dollar Byte.