Why do so many fail at digitalization?

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Digitalization is a huge change for many organizations, and we are constantly misled in what it’s all about. In the technical hype we are all part of, which fills the spotlight with new wonders and possibilities, we are all made to believe that it’s only a technical revolution happening. 

We are misled in this huge change to focus on the technology instead of the value it brings, focus on the processes instead of the people, and we all to often miss out on how it actually affects people in everyday life.

Digitalization is in it’s foundation about transformation, and in big shifts we need more than just new technology, we need leadership.

You can digitize all you want, but if you haven’t changed the behaviour of the person, you haven’t changed anything at all.

Why is leadership a key ingredient? Because it’s not a logistic matter of giving people one by one something new, it’s about changing peoples behaviour. As a leader you understand this. You understand that you need to meet the person where she is, before you together can share and see where you should go. It’s like the old saying: you can lead a horse to a lake, but not force it to drink. Today it’s more like: You can digitize all you want, but if you haven’t changed the behaviour of the person, you haven´t changed anything at all.

We need leadership that understands the importance of the pedagogical journey you have to do to lead a person from today to tomorrow. So even if it’s a technical revolution, if you want to be great at digitalization, you need to be good at transformation and in return leadership. Everyone advocating for digitalization should ask themselves – am I a good leader? Do I know how to meet a person where she is? Can i guide her to another place? Do I actually care?

We need leadership, that understands the importance of the pedagogical journey, that you have to do to lead a person from today to tomorrow.

To be able to provide the best digitalized experience possible, you need to understand where the person is, what she feels and wants and from that perspective create it. It is not a logistical exercise to run through all people and expect everyone to use and understand it.

The biggest pitfall is that most organizations don’t care enough to invest the time to do this. Because meeting the person where she is, demands more energy and more effort from you. You might actually also find out that you are wrong in your assumptions. So you have to ask yourself, will you do it the hard way and invest time in truly affecting people, when good enough and playing it safe is paying well enough?

What do you think about this? Why do you think so many organizations fail at digitalization?

Connect with me and let me know what your thoughts are, and as always, I love feedback in any form.

Think big, continuously act small and aim to be awesome.

-rickard-

Published

7 November