7 Strategies to Position Yourself as an Effective Digital Transformation Leader

It’s not rocket science that investing in new technology makes you more money because let’s face it, everything is digital. 


And whatever’s not digital yet, will be digital in the next couple of years. The companies which are staying ahead of the technology curve are making more money.


If you couldn’t identify as one of such companies, then maybe it’s time to kick the digital transformation efforts up a notch with effective leadership.


Digital transformation can be defined as acceleration by the means of new technologies, innovative business outcomes, and digitization of processes. 


And the ability of a company to adapt to the changing market dynamics since traditional business models are becoming obsolete with the rise of digitalization.


In a recent survey by McKinsey Global Survey on the subject of digital transformations, they have found that 8 out of 10 companies have implemented strategies for digital transformation in the past 5 years. 


According to Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, the process of digitization has been accelerated by a decade because of the pandemic.  


What we are trying to say here is digital transformation is not an option anymore. It is the way to go.


To actually have a chance at competing with the industry leaders, emerging innovative companies, and disruptors in your industry, you need to position yourself as an effective digital transformation leader — which is what this whole blog is about.


We are going to provide a comprehensive overview of 7 strategies you can implement in 2021 to be an effective digital transformation leader in your industry.



  • Customer-needs Centric


The old saying stating that the customer is always right hasn’t lost its value and application even in the digital world. And with the invention of social media, the customers have gotten clearer and louder voices, which makes this saying more relevant today.


With a plethora of options available for everything, customers are now empowered more than ever. 


We are seeing radical changes in the demands of the customers which are empowering innovation in the ways a company interacts with them via intuitive interfaces for more holistic experiences, round-the-clock support for the global audience, personalized experience based on the previous interactions, or by consulting digital adoption platform companies to engage their customers with a better value proposition.


Let customer experience be your central focus and then use digital technologies to position yourself as a digital transformation leader. 


Pro Tip: Let this core message be announced at the company-level and not just in the customer-facing departments. The better all your team members understand this goal, the better the outcome of your efforts.



  • Industry boundaries


High-performing digital leaders like Facebook, Amazon, and Google aren’t concerned with what industry they’re in and they definitely don’t let their industry define their boundaries of operations. Rather, they’re concerned with what gap they can fill for their customers.


The boundaries won’t inspire new discoveries and opportunities that lie hidden in plain sight between the existing stuff. 


Look beyond the boundaries, don’t let the industry boundaries define your organization’s boundaries. For example, one of the digital transformation leaders - Tesla, in their newest Model S, broke the boundaries that defined how a steering wheel of a car should be. 


The innovative butterfly steering wheel is definitely experiencing a backlash from the critics, but that’s definitely not going to stop Elon to make the model with this cool looking joystick-like steering wheel.

What should drive your digital transformation is the existing gap between what’s available in the market and the actual needs of your customers. 



  • Digital is the way through, not the destination


Don’t let the digital transformation itself become the reason for the transformation. That’s the worst possible mistake you can make. 


Be very clear about your business goals, hold yourself true to the vision for your business, and let them drive your digital transformation. It’s a shiny object, no doubt, alluring, yes, but it’s an enabler and not the achievement itself.


If you are powering your transformation with this vision, then you can expect effective results and positive outcomes that’ll get you one step closer to your business goals.



  • Build teams with higher AQ


We’ve all heard of IQ, EQ, and even SQ (spiritual quotient). AQ is something new, but something that is non-negotiable for today’s teams. 


AQ is the adversity quotient. In the pandemic ridden world, we were and still are literally facing one adversity after the other. 


If your team’s capacity to come back from a blow is low, then you can say goodbye to digital transformation all together. The key to being an effective digital transformation leader is to train your team to adapt to changing situations quickly and effectively.


Here’s how you can build teams with higher AQ:

  • Don’t sugarcoat things for them
  • Consider every possible outcome of a particular step: best-case scenarios and worst-case scenarios - and make your team ready to face all of them
  • Get them ready for unexpected twists and turns
  • Make them solution-oriented
  • Work on their problem-defining skills
  • Give them proper tools to deal with the obstacles

Resilience is what’s getting us through this pandemic and keeping us hopeful about the future.


So, get ready to make your teams more resilient.



  • Embrace the new


Curiosity and open-mindedness are sought-out traits in leaders considering the rate at which technology is evolving. 


To position yourself as an effective digital transformation leader, make sure you are not only keeping up with the technological advances but are also understanding them in totality; including their origins, their applications, and how they can bring positive results for your organization.


Also, getting too excited about everything has a downside. You lose sight of what’s important. 


To not let this affect your digital transformation process, you must be very clear about your end goals and also have a laser-focus vision while keeping yourself abreast of all the updates and technological advances.



  • The right balance between invention and copying


To invent or not to invent is the real question in today’s era. Invention might give you quality differentiators that can help you capture more market share. 


But if you go on investing in inventing everything, then you are going to have priority management issues, budget issues, and not to mention an ill-focused team which can only lead to chaos and wastage of important resources. 


So, it becomes important to understand when to invent and when to copy. 


Yes, copying is right. If you see something that’s working for your competitor or any organization running similar processes or working on similar outcomes, then just copy. 


Don’t spend too much time reinventing a perfect process unless you see a gap for an opportunity or you want to do exponentially better in it.


Also, don’t copy blindly. Be smart about it. Tweak it to your organization’s requirements. Don’t just aimlessly replicate the whole process. 


And most importantly, copy the not-so-important parts and not the differentiators that actually help you stand out.



  • Transformation culture


Companies’ cultures usually define their success trajectory. Conservative, laggard-rich companies are going to have a tough time getting a big break, especially in an era that is driven by innovation and adaptability.


To actually achieve success in being a digital transformation leader, you need to create a transformation culture — a culture of collaboration, sharing information, discoveries, encouraging innovation, and risk-taking. 


The key to building such a culture is communicating your habits as well as asking about your teams’ habits, creating a safe and encouraging space for them to share their opinions.


Building such a culture will not only empower people but will also mean more brainpower that’s working to identify the gaps as well as the opportunities in those gaps alongside you.

The key thing to keep in mind is,

Success is best friends with clarity. The more clear you are about the motives of your organization’s transformation journey, the better success you can expect. 


This journey will be a long one and will require you to redefine and reinvent constantly for which you are going to need your team members’ help. So, start with goal setting, reasons, and communicating the same with your entire organization.