One of the keys to leading a digital transformation, or any transformation, is to find out why it matters to the people who will make it happen—your team, your peers, the people who control the budget, and the decision-makers and influencers in your organisation.
This task is about helping the people around you to find their own meaning in the transformation. Everyone wants to know that the work they are doing is important, that it makes a difference. This is something people hunger for, and helping them to find this perspective, helping them to see how their work fits into a bigger story, is one of the most important tasks you can do as a leader. This is what it is to inspire meaningful change.
Too often, strategies are communicated in terms of their benefits for the organisation, but these may not matter much to the people who will make the change happen. For example, the strategic plan might describe a revenue goal (to become a $500 million company) or a goal of becoming one of the top five organisations of its kind in Australia. Why would the people working there be motivated by that? The executives may find that compelling because being part of making it happen will look good on their CVs and advance their careers. But it doesn’t mean anything at all to the people on the ground.
With a digital transformation, particularly one that includes more automation, there’s something else at stake for the people who will need to make it happen: their jobs. The nature of the work available in the organisation is likely to change, possibly significantly. Some jobs may become redundant. Other opportunities will open up. It’s critical that you find a story they can be excited about, not one that sounds like it’s good for the organisation but puts them out of work.
f you want your team to be inspired by the idea of the transformation, you have to put it in terms that are meaningful to them as individuals. You have to know what kind of story they want to be part of.