How Leadership Shapes Digital Transformation
Being digitally driven is a necessity right now for every business, but just acquiring new technology isn’t enough as implementation requires vision and strategy. Therefore, any digital transformation without the support of strong leadership, won’t work.
Apple V Blackberry
The finest example of this has been Apple which has gone on to acquire cult recognition under the leadership of Steve Jobs. On the other hand, Blackberry, which once enjoyed popularity and had clients like Barack Obama, just faded away.
Both brands had equal access to technology, but Apple was always a step ahead – be it touchscreen or Siri, the virtual assistant. Just like embracing a change in management operations requires the ability to take risks and determination, digital transformation requires bold leadership.
In the drive to adopt new technologies, most individuals within business leadership often neglect their core needs. Going digital is not limited to creating an online presence, using artificial intelligence (AI) or switching to the cloud, it needs a framework and strategic steps to support it. Without prior knowledge of business needs and the impact of this on work operations, digital transformation initiatives can fall flat.
The Blackberry example indicates that any brand can collapse in the absence of good direction - despite being technologically efficient. Change-agile leaders are what businesses need to experience digital success, and below we’ve outlined the reasons why.
Asking the right questions
According to Telstra’s Disruptive Decision-Making research, British businesses are very confident with their understanding and use of technology. However, according to Tom Homer, Managing Director of Telstra, only those who are technologically mature have managed to ace the digital business transformation game.
These organisations use technology wisely and align it with their other core strengths - people and processes. Putting the focus on your strengths and enhancing them through tech tools is an attribute that ensures longevity and success.
The digital transformation roadmap begins with asking the right questions. Visionary managers will begin the process by identifying opportunities and setting up goals prior to adopting any new technology.
For example, take IKEA, who in 2017 launched the ‘IKEA Place’ app which used augmented reality to allow users to visualise how furniture would look like in their homes. The app, which has been downloaded two million times now, allows customers to make better buying decisions and adds more appeal to the brand.
This digital transformation strategy focuses on product enhancement and has proved to be profitable for the business in the long-run. It is also well thought-through and builds more credibility for the brand.
Consider the future
As a leader, you must have good foresight for futuristic opportunities. Digital transformation and leadership go hand-in-hand, and you have to create a work culture where employees are encouraged to be innovative. This creates room for new ideas and helps the business make big changes by taking small steps towards success.
Business leadership has to focus on change agents and should communicate the needs and importance of these innovations at multiple levels. Sometimes the complete essence of a brand needs a digital makeover, and this can only happen when the entire organisation is on-board.
Domino’s went through an amazing digital transformation when they shifted from being just another fast-food chain, to a company complete with digital marketers and programming teams, and as a result, new initiatives were made to create a strong digital presence and boost digital sales.
The brand has now left its competitors behind with its brilliant digital marketing campaigns and use of technology in the form of ‘Dom the Pizza’ bot. Their app also enhances the customer experience by allowing pizza lovers to order from their preferred channels - Facebook Messenger, the Domino’s app, Twitter and more.
Adapt and collaborate
Technology has made the business world all the more dynamic and unpredictable. This means, as a leader, you must be willing to adapt and take things in a new direction. One of the prime benefits of digital transformation is that it offers many new avenues of innovation, such as collaboration between brands.
As new trends and further developments emerge in the digital arena, you have to be open about the possibilities of a partnership. This will help amp up your marketing and sales strategy, and with more brains on-board, your business processes will become more streamlined.
The collaboration of Nike with Kanye West’s Yeezy’s was a giant step by Nike who’d never collaborated with non-athletic brands. This venture came with risk, but it generated huge profits and all the products sold out at lightning speed!
Entrepreneurs and leaders in today’s modern era need to understand the importance of digital transformation if they want to create a strong and lasting impact, and professionals looking to navigate the vast world of business successfully should check out the Digital Transformation and Leadership course offered by the reputed London School of Business and Finance (LSBF).
This course focuses on enhancing your leadership skills and will give you the strategies and tools that are relevant in the online world. With the help of projects and case studies, you will be able to identify the threats and opportunities within your business and tackle them! Click here to give your career a digital boost!
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