Bringing about Digital Transformation in a 'comfortable' orginization


(Darren Cassidy) #1

In the books and references I read through about Digital Transformation, they all assume buy-in from the top. The company is experiencing some sort of notable issue. Revenue is declining, customers are complaining, site up time is dropping, or a new CEO is brought in that has this vision of Digital Transformation.

I wonder if anyone has experience bringing about change within an organization that is doing very well. Introducing a new relationship with failure, prototyping, pushing the boundaries, within an org that has been successful in the past for many years and has no understanding of why they ‘need’ to change such tried and true business practices.

I would like my business to adopt a mind set of leveraging technology, instead of building everything ourselves.

Does anyone have any tips for how to bring about such change within a business that is already on a successful course and hasn’t begun to challenge the ways that they have been doing things at a deep foundational level? Do you simply have to wait until leadership agrees, or a business metric / market dynamic flips and the business starts to feel the pain? Do you hire in a team? Do you push forward yourself? Do you align an advisor to help you chart the course and ensure you’re not reinventing the wheel? I don’t really want to waste my time and it’s extremely exhausting to go up against leadership that is so resistant. There is so much potential and thus I’d love any help or guidance.


(Magnus Hillestad) #2

Yes, seen exactly that at my prevoius employeer starting 2015, EQT Partners, leading European PE firm with ca 500+ employees. Changed the whole IT department, and hired a group of great digital talents from Google, Spotify, King etc. Then empowered them from the top and let them start doing changes. Some obvious like introducing slack Dropbox and Gmail, but also profound changes in the approach to choosing tools and approaches to all things digital. Takeaway; get the right guys and give them power to change things, too mgmt must get properly involved and support the changes.


(Darren Cassidy) #3

Hi Magnus, thanks for the response. I’m curious though. Did leadership above you trust you to make the necessary changes and understood why you were making the changes? Were you coming up with the strategy/ideas, or were you empowering these team members you were bringing on that came with a track record and they were pushing forward the strategy… Very curious in what exactly my role in this transformation is… For reference, this is the first time I’m doing this as this is has been my core job so far and I’m navigating into new waters.


(Magnus Hillestad) #4

Yes. CEO hired the team and it reported to him / COO. Team built the strategy and mgmt approved. Team had experience from the mentioned firms and knew what good looked like but needed the support to approve big changes that met resistance at certain parts of org (as you said it was a very successful org so not all saw the need for change). But this was quite a different organization since it was a Private Equity firm so may not be too comparable situation…