Digital transformation: Stage-by-stage [video]

Our research suggests that 100% of Learning and Development leaders understand themselves and their organisations to be actively involved in a process of digital transformation.

In this new vlog, Scriptwriter Kathryn Nixon looks at the transformation process through the lens of Brian Solis/Altimeter's Six-stage model of Digital Transformation, describing what it means for L&D teams – and how we can help

To talk to our experts about your digital transformation journey, just get in touch.

Here's a longer, written version of Kathryn's thinking – for those who'd rather read than watch:

If you're reading this, then you're probably interested in this whole digital transformation thing. And hopefully you're interested in learning and development too. If so, good news! This blog and vlog will give you some real practical ways you can support your organisation's digital first strategies.

So how can your learning strategy support digital transformation in your industry? I'm glad you asked….

First, it's worth identifying at what stage your organisation is in their digital transformation journey. There are a number of models out there that seek to put a consistent framework over the complexities of the digital transformation process. But one of the most straightforward is digital guru Brian Solis' Six stage model, which serves as a guide to purposeful digital transformation AND as a way to diagnose the digital maturity of an organisation.

Don't worry, I'll talk more about these stages a bit later on.

What part does L&D have to play?

It might not seem immediately obvious where we fit in, especially when a lot of digital transformation is operations- or customer experience-orientated.

But what about the employee experience? Many organisations forget about the experience our colleagues need to go through too. And for an organisation to truly transform the way it works it needs its employees to be engaged and equipped to help that transformation take place. It needs to establish new norms and new behaviours to fit the new way the organisation now works.

You're probably thinking, 'Great... so, how does that happen?'

Well this is where you implement the right learning and development strategies to support your organisation through each stage of digital transformation.

So let's take a look at each stage and what they mean for your learning and development function:

Stage 1: Business as usual

This is kind of what it sounds like – this is the starting point for most. If your organisation is just getting ready to go on a digital transformation journey then the main strategy should be around:

  • communicating to your employees the journey they are about to go on and what their role is
  • embedding behaviours and a culture that mean DT can take place - so this means thinking about what kind of environment your company needs that will induce innovation and collaboration required to move your organisation forward.

Stage 2: Present and active

At this point, small pockets of the business start to experiment with digital initiatives and tools (but it's not planned). So teams and departments should be given the skills and support they need to undertake new initiatives. This could mean ensuring that employees have just in time access to a range of modules that focus on key digital skills such as data collection and analysis techniques.

Stage 3: Formalized

This is when things start getting more serious and organized. It's when you should start thinking about how your teams can get formal investment into larger scale transformation projects. That means educating executive boards about why this investment is necessary.

Stage 4: Strategic

Individual groups start to come together to plan digital strategies. This means your organisation needs to become more strategic in its initiatives, bringing together teams from across the organisation to collaborate and develop strategies. You can support your employees at this stage with learning and support that enables collaboration and also supporting employees who want to take on more strategic roles within their department.

Stage 5: Converged

Now you're talking about a purpose built digital transformation team. With a dedicated team in place, support around developing processes and ways of working is key.

Stage 6: Innovative and adaptive

Awesome - you've got an entire organisation operating to identify and act on technology trends from CEOs at the top down to everyday employees. At this point L&D's role should be continuing to identify the learning intervention needed to keep the organisation at the forefront of innovation.

Sound good? I know right? Well, once you're ploughing head on with your own digital transformation programmes, contact us to see how our experience can help your employees get the support they need.