Dion Hinchcliffe explains the various reasons why digital transformation is challenging. He also points out that organizations that continue to succeed over decades are those that know when and how to change with the times.
Challenges of Creating a Digital Business
There are a number of reasons why digital transformation is challenging, and it’s sometimes it’s simple things like not invented here, which is a famous saying that says, if we haven’t done it, and we haven’t worked through it, we don’t really understand it and it’s an external change. A lot of organizations still have culture change – the external change because of that and that’s how they stay in business in fact, so it’s a necessity.
But we see, and there is great research that looked into organizations that have survived successive changes in the world. Look at the oldest corporations in the world, the companies that have lasted hundreds of years have a few things in common, but the thing they have most in common is they proactively seek out change instead of waiting for it to be imposed, and that’s where there is central tension there.
Most organizations exist to solve a certain problem that they were created to solve. And they throw out many things that changes that, and that’s how they survive and grow. But there is another class of organization and those other ones that seek out opportunity, and they absorb new changes and they don’t wait for it to be imposed, which is the most disruptive way for it to happen.
And so what is actually the problem is that most organizations have to throw out things that it will disrupt or interfere in the way that they work, and that’s the only way to get needed changes and improvements in. So that is why digital transformation at its very core is so challenging. There are many other associated reasons to in that it’s hard to change the engine on a plane while it’s flying, and you’ve got cultural challenges for organizations that are very traditional. But I think it’s central tension is that we tend to throw off the things that are trying to disrupt today.