Leading people to a digital future isn’t an easy task.
I think that you’ll find a lot of fear when you’re leading a digital transformation. You need to recognize that as you drive massive change within an organisation, not everybody’s interests will be served in the same way.
For example, if you’re trying to launch artificial intelligence chatbots, the people who are from the call centre may see this as a huge threat and can be dead set against it. And so, from here, where do you go?
You’ll need to think of ways to effectively bring people together because you can’t transform only one part of your company. The reality is that this “fear” puts a premium on leaders who can create a vision of change and frame it positively.
I’ve listed five (5) tips to guide you in this tumultuous journey.
Cultivating Trust Through Authenticity
Leaders need to create that feeling of “authenticity.” You need to let your people know that you’re someone they can talk to at any time. Being seen as “genuine” and “sincere” has a huge impact on your effectiveness as a leader.
As such, it’s important that you’re able to speak from the heart and able to identify which things need to be communicated to your people. Whether it’s the challenges that you’re up against or the confidence that your organization will be successful, you need to communicate with a sincerity that people can feel. Doing this will cultivate trust among your people, which is valuable when you’re leading any transformation.
Adapting The Right Mindset For The Right Situation
There are two mindsets that we need to consider in any digital transformation endeavour: the mindset of wealth and poverty.
Let’s start with poverty.
Sometimes we think that we can only lead transformation when we get funded. We feel that we need millions and millions of dollars to get started. But digital transformation doesn’t have to be this way. Even with limited means, we can begin to transform ourselves digitally. We can create a product in a simple way and create immediate value from it.
But on the flip side, you also need to know when and how to think big. With the mindset of wealth, we need to think about how to grow bigger and how to go to the next level.
Yes, you may start with a poverty mindset. But don’t get stuck there. You should also be thinking about getting the big dollars because typically at some point, you’re going to need more resources to move an entire enterprise to where you want to go.
So, it’s not only about having a “poverty” mindset that everything always has to be small scale, but also about wealth and thinking about things from a large-scale perspective.
Planning and Action
When it comes to digital transformation, we need to think from an intellectual, theoretical perspective to some degree. We need to think about how to be. But of course, we also need to be people of action. We need to be always on the go and ready to get things done.
And as a leader today, we need to bring both of these together. We need to be able to demonstrate clear victories. But at the same time, we also need to be someone who can speak eloquently and understand the more abstract components of planning and strategy.
Leaders as Learners
I think that when we think of ourselves as leaders of digital transformation, we need to be learners as well.
There are people who are just constantly absorbing and learning new things. People who are good at learning through practical experience.
But at the same time, I believe we should also seek out more structured learning opportunities, whether it’s going back to school, having online courses or attending conferences or other things.
After all, it’s one thing to learn on the job, and it’s another thing to learn by doing. Great digital transformation leaders tend to do both of those things.
Confidence And Humility Go Hand in Hand
As a leader, there are times when we need to stand up and be bold, and there are times when we need to sit down and be humble.
We must give people confidence. Because more often than not, when you’re trying to lead transformation, people are fearful. A lot of people fear change. And when you’re trying to drive an organization to something new, you’re dealing with people whose first natural instinct is fear. So, you need to be someone who gives people confidence.
But at the same time, a lot of success is also in being able to sit down and work with people. There are other leaders within your organization. And when you’re in that type of situation, it’s probably a bad idea to seem like you’re full of yourself.
You need to be humble. You need to sit down with people and have the humility of knowing that you don’t know everything. You must have a desire to make others feel comfortable.