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Habits of Unsuccessful Digital Transformation

There are more failures than successes when it comes to digital transformation in business. Mostly avoidable if business leaders knew about a series of unintentional habits prolific practise in the workplace.

These habits are so consistent that it’s as if businesses are following a Secret Playbook for Screwing Up Your Digital Transformation.

In a series of articles, I’m going to reveal the hidden contents of this secret playbook so you can discover whether your business can expect to succeed or fail in its digital transformation.

But first… let’s look at the digital transformation landscape.

digital transformation

Digital Transformation - All the rage in big business

Everyone in business is talking about digital transformation. They’ve been doing this for the last twenty years.

Probably because it promises to make operations more efficient and help the business significantly grow.

Consider world-famous Lego back in 2005. They were facing bankruptcy.

Yet someone in the business decided to digitize the supply chain, shining a light on a whole range of inefficiencies they had not seen before. They used the data to make intelligent decisions on improving their operations. Things started improving.

Yet they didn’t stop there. Lego updated their HR systems and in 2011 introduced an enterprise lifecycle system. Digital transformation lifted a company off its knees and put it on the road to growing its business back.

Countless big businesses have successfully transformed to meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital age. From Telstra through to Pfizer and even the NSW government. However, it hasn’t stopped here.

Digital Transformation - Now all the rage in medium sized businesses

Digital transformation has traditionally operated in the realm of big business. That’s because it costs a lot of money, time, and resources. There was an unfair advantage to big over medium-sized businesses.

Until now.

Software and services are now a lot more affordable and in the realm of small to medium-sized businesses to see a return. They are creating opportunities to free up medium sized business’s employees from menial, manual tasks so they have more time to work on things that help grow their business.

There is no more important time for this now that we are in the age of the ‘great resignation’.

It’s no wonder that digital transformation is now all the rage for medium sized businesses.

More business fails

However, for every successful transformation, there are easily two failures.

Consider Hewlett Packard. One would think they could successfully transform their business given their historic role in the market. Yet they failed initially.

Their CIO stated, “we had a series of small problems, none of which, individually would have been too much to handle.”

As someone who has worked in digital transformation for over thirty years, I’ve seen a lot of habits that make a transformation successful… and unsuccessful.

Perhaps surprisingly, it doesn’t require rocket science to see why some projects succeed or fail. It comes down to a series of unintentional habits that businesses and their people practise.

From my experience, even just one of these habits can screw up a digital transformation. Put two or more of them together and you’re guaranteed to screw it up!

You see these habits everywhere.

It’s almost as if the business's employees follow a secret “Playbook for Screwing Up Your Digital Transformation”. Right down to the letter.  

Over this upcoming series, I’ll reveal the key habits of highly unsuccessful digital transformations direct from The Secret Playbook for Screwing Up a Digital Transformation. You can use these as tactics to destroy any digital transformation initiative…  or identify habits that are quietly eroding your business vision, growth, or success.

Join me on the series, starting with Habit # 1: Outsource Your Vision.

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