Alight Minds

Is your organization already on the digital transformation wagon? Did you spend the better part of last year planning for it? You may not see it, but the five obstacles we mention below may slow your progress. A version or other of these issues plagues most companies. Alight Minds suggests solutions you can use to overcome them.

Shall we dig in?

Problem #1: Lack of People Who Can Make Digital Transformation Happen

If your organization doesn’t have these people, you cannot just go out and buy the ingredients for digital transformation! Unlike other situations, hiring talent won’t make your company become an expert in digital transformation.

But why, you ask? Shouldn’t there be skilled personnel to make things happen? The uncomfortable truth is that there aren’t. And don’t think an unlimited budget can open locked doors for you. Certain talent populations are almost absent, especially in smaller cities.


Beat the need with these two steps:

  • Streamline your digital talent needs ruthlessly. Then look around among the personnel you already have. Which of them – even the least skilled – can prioritize those needs? Get them to do so!
  • Data will help mind the gaps while you review the population in your employ. Don’t underestimate the importance of learning agility and the role it can play. Focus on the skills and behaviors of your people. For instance, a fluid learner with 20% of the skills you desperately need will likely be a better fit than a process-driven individual, even if the latter has 80% of those skills! You need action-takers.

Problem #2: Job Descriptions Keep Changing on you

The metamorphosis will sure create new jobs. Another thing that digital transformation will encourage is the fluidity of job titles. Your organization may find itself frantic with the efforts of keeping up with the constant rewriting of job descriptions.  It is 2014 all over again when AOL had a digital prophet on the payroll! Work is transforming, and it will continue to do that.


So, counter it with these measures:

  • Don’t pay so much importance to the titles and hierarchies. Instead, help your company’s culture evolve towards teams and trust. Collaborations and the tools they need to keep functioning will have much more success in this climate. Ply them with the guidance they’ll need to complete their tasks and then leave them at it. Aim at adopting the minimum viable product approach to adjust to the sweeping changes. The era where a group of letters at the end of an individual’s name meant anything is gone!
  • Moreover, stop thinking in terms of permanence. Digital work will change at a much faster rate this year. Thus, only companies ready to accommodate those constant shifts will ride its wave more successfully.

Problem #3: You and Digital Transformation Leaders Speak Two Different Languages

If you have teenagers, you must have felt they speak a language wholly their own. One that you cannot interpret while their siblings do. It is akin to what is taking place in every industry at the moment. When it is essential that the IT department be in complete sync with the rest of the business, the opposite is true.

The lexicon that IT leaders affect assists in keeping them up to date with the non-linear technological progress. Your business leaders, on the other hand, aren’t familiar with it. After one gaffe too many, both sides may just give up aiming technological questions at each other.

Digital Transformation Solutions

There is only one countermeasure for this problem: informal communication. Make it so that all the internal communication within your organization is simple and understandable. Explain it to your employees in this way: talk so a middle-schooler can understand you. The better they get at this, the lesser misunderstandings there will be.

Moreover, informal communication usually takes place in real-time whenever possible. Regular conversations and a feeling of safety when posing questions are essential.

Problem #4: A Stifling Organizational Structure Keeps Blocking your Digital Transformation

Nothing will block your progress towards digital transformation like your organization structure can. Whether you run a matrixed or flat company, you cannot afford to let the jumble of reporting structures muddy clear waters. There should be no confusion as to who has the right to take decisions or about where the RACI stands. Ask your leaders and potentials to give up command-and-control behavior in favor of agility.


Decide the people whose involvement in decision-making is vital. Don’t pass the buck when it comes to stakeholder management. It will make focusing on the customer difficult. Any initiative that needs to happen must do so with certainty about decision-holders right from the outset.

Problem #5: Employees Think the Term, Digital Transformation, is Vomit-Inducing

Failed business transformations teach us valuable lessons. Just as dotcom made people walk out several years ago, the term, digital transformation, is under constant overuse. While it might be pushing some employees to work harder and attain it; others may feel worn out.

Digital Transformation Solutions

You can bring matters under control with these actions:

  • Go through all the initiatives that you’ve got cooking. Then get to pruning out the ones you don’t need. Curate which employees need to hear about the remaining ones. Communicate the details only to them, instead of a company-wide broadcast. This will help reduce the digital transformation load on your employees.
  • If you have a choice between humor and tragedy, choose the former. Aside from that, treat your employees with compassion, so the practice catches on. The going is rough, and before digital transformation ends, things will only get tougher. You’ll need both humor and compassion aplenty to survive!

Alight Minds has other constructive ideas through which your enterprise can achieve its digital transformation goals. Talk technology and company health with Alight Minds.