Digital Business Transformation

Changing how a business operates is about changing its culture, processes, and tools. An outcome of getting to positive (versus negative) results is when transformation for the better has happened. We usually don’t associate negative outcomes as transformative — they’re more in the “destruction” category. But that also helps to explain why transformation is so difficult — it means that your competing against an outcome of abject failure.

To promise that all will be amazing if you hold on and adapt to change for the sake of transformation is one thing. But with everyone involved knowing that the outcome could also be destruction instead, means that resistance will be normal and natural. Because in reality the transformation will benefit a certain few, and in a zero sum game it will then be less advantageous for another few. No matter how great the upsides might be for the entire organization, at the end of the day to lose something is much worse than the upsides feeling of gaining something. So the potential losers will have more energy and enthusiasm to push back against transformation as compared with the potential winners. Why? Because losing hurts more than winning, as all of the loss aversion research out there has proven.

I was reading this article in CIO that spoke to the opportunities that come with digital transformation, and how bringing people along on the journey is much harder than anyone might expect. The tech part is easy. The human part is hard.

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