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  • Writer's pictureLaura Goodrich, GWT Next

The Digital Transformation Mindset

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Hello Transformation-Makers,

When it comes to the high-stakes world of digital transformation, we often find ourselves laser-focused on the nuts and bolts: defining outcomes, aligning stakeholders, marshaling resources, and laying strategic plans. These elements are all essential to success, but before we dive into the technicalities, there is another dimension that we must thoroughly explore - our collective organizational mindset.

I recently had a conversation that perfectly illustrates why this is so critical. A mid-level manager from a large organization shared her experiences with me. She told me about a crucial transformation initiative within her organization. While some leaders were clearly on board, others seemed oblivious, and some even openly mocked the initiative. When asked how this impacted her, she responded, "I do nothing." This story underscores the risk of failing to engage leaders and employees at all levels. The cost is not merely a failed initiative but a culture of inertia, confusion, and disengagement.

This mindset isn't about cultivating a vague sense of optimism. Instead, it is about fostering an actionable, robust mindset for change across the entire organization, anchored in the understanding that change begins at the individual level. Each team member - leaders and employees alike - must actively participate in the change process. Our collective organizational mindset can evolve when each person embraces this transformative mindset.

Team discussing the Digital Transformation Mindset

Why is this important, you ask?

Because all the planning in the world will only bear fruit if the individuals who make up our organizations are mentally ready for change. We must prepare and prime our teams, equipping them with a digital transformation mindset that's as robust as it is adaptable. The kind of mindset th at can weather the storm of challenges we're bound to face. Before we chart the course, let's ensure we have the right navigators on deck. We need to put the horse in front of the cart.

This is where 'agency' takes center stage. Agency is the sense of control one feels in life, the capacity to influence one's thoughts and behavior, and the belief in one's ability to handle various tasks and situations. By fostering a culture of agency within our teams, we can ensure that our transformation initiatives are not just passively accepted but actively embraced by every member.

How Can We Foster Agency?

The key to cultivating agency is in our approach to leadership. Shifting from a traditional top-down style to a coaching approach can make all the difference. Coaching is not about directing but guiding. It's about helping people find solutions and realize that they're in the driver's seat of their actions, decisions, and outcomes. This methodology resonates strongly with younger generations, like Millennials and Gen Z, who prize autonomy, feedback, and a strong sense of purpose in their work.

The Blended Workplace Conundrum

As we navigate the complexities of a blended workforce, including both on-premises and remote employees, the challenge of fostering agency takes on new dimensions. As transformation leaders, our responsibility is to ensure all team members, irrespective of their working arrangements, feel empowered and trusted. How are we fostering a culture of inclusivity and trust in these unprecedented times?

The Hidden Cost of Miscommunication

Finally, let's talk about language. Have we considered the cost of poor language standardization and its impact on our transformation goals? Miscommunication, or a lack of shared understanding, can lead to confusion, errors, and disengagement, derailing even the best-laid transformation plans. We must use clear, common language and ensure our messages are conveyed effectively across every level of the organization.

As we gear up for our transformation journeys, it's essential to align our teams' mindsets with the direction of change and foster a culture of agency that empowers every team member. This shift involves asking some tough questions, but doing so now will pave the way for a successful transformation tomorrow.

Remember, change is inevitable, but transformation is a conscious choice. And it's a choice we must make together. Here's to our shared success on the path of transformation!

Best regards, GWT Next

Laura Goodrich

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