To survive Industry 4.0, think beyond the digital. The source of the changes is far more than “digital transformation” or “emerging technologies.” We are a connected and aware generation who consumes information in mass volumes in real-time through handheld devices. Policy and regulation are changing. Political upheaval is occurring. New business models are emerging. New markets are appearing. We are part of a global market and a much larger ecosystem—and as with all ecosystems, the slightest shift can cause radical changes throughout the whole of the system.
The 2017 Red Hat Culture Survey found that digital transformation is changing business inside and out. Most respondents (91%) agreed that technological developments are altering the way organizations in their industries must operate in order to succeed.
That’s going to require taking a hard look the frameworks for how they work, the values they adhere to, the mission that aligns them, and the operational processes that drive the engine—in other words, their organizational cultures. It’s clear that (due to various types of transformation going on) we must not only address operational needs, but also the way we think about doing work.
Real transformation isn’t about tiny shifts. It requires bold pivots. We must recognize that sustainable change requires us to change how we think—on all fronts. Remember: Changing the way we think isn’t saying that what we think now is inherently wrong. It means admitting that we can always learn more. The best path toward transformation is organizational openness. Organizations that embrace inclusivity allow for a constant and natural rate of evolution.
Successful transformations (of any kind) require new ways of thinking and new methodologies to succeed and sustain said change. In the first part of this series, I introduced change management as being one of the four crucial areas for a successful digital transformation. In this article, I want to unpack the idea of “change” even further. Changing your approach to transformation efforts can help reverse some change management trends we’re seeing today—and lead to a successful, sustainable, and adaptable organizational environment.
Arguably, the greatest chasm we see in our organizational work today is the actual transformation before, during, or after the implementation of a digital technology—because technology invariably crosses through and impacts people, processes, and culture. What are we transforming from? What are we transforming into? These are “people issues” as much as they are “technology issues,” but we too rarely acknowledge this.