Why do digital transformations fail?


Why do digital transformations fail? That’s precisely what I’ll be asking Tony Saldanha, author of the Amazon best-seller Why Digital Transformations Fail. (You can sign up already, by clicking here.) In the meantime here’s an exert from his book that made me smile, as I’ve seen so many companies attempt some (or even all) of these steps, in the hope of driving an innovative, digital transformation strategy. Innovation Theater Is the Enemy of Strategy Sufficiency The discipline of checking for both a sufficient portfolio mix and the requisite volume of projects is at the core of strategy sufficiency. The opposite of this is a plan that relies too heavily on sheer enthusiasm. Don’t get me wrong—enthusiasm about change is vital. Where things start to fall apart is when it is not backed up by disciplined execution. If a digital transformation seems a bit heavy on any of the following six activities, then it might be time to bring in the rigour? 1. Silicon Valley’s Mecca tours A few days spent in business-casual dress marvelling at the magical offerings of start-ups. Or spent in the glassed-in innovation centres of the larger tech companies offering “inspiration workshops” on your problems. 2. Lonely innovation planet outpost Staffing a few people in global innovation hub locations, free from the stifling headquarters bureaucracy, but quickly forgotten or ignored by the core organization. 3. Internal crowdsourcing drama The earnest attempts to collect innovation ideas from within the company, or the attempted one-off hackathons, without the wherewithal to execute them.



4. Outsourced innovation delusion

The hiring of highly paid consultants to take accountability for inspiration, iterative execution, and external solution connections. It’s a start, except that true perpetual transformation cannot be outsourced.

5. Labs for chasing cool technologies

The misguided attempt to focus on shiny object technologies without clarity on the problems to be solved.



6. Highly delegated souls innovation group The group of junior resources flailing in their attempt to do their best to drive the hardest of changes in the company. So what can you do? Well, that’s what I’ll be asking Tony. And as his book was based on his personal experiences driving digital transformation for Procter and Gamble, the answers should be golden. See you Thursday. Col p.s. if you do need help on your innovation journey, ignore point 4 and lets chat!




Colin’s expert knowledge of the subject, engaging presentation style and skilful facilitation of both the audience and his co-hosts enabled him to lead a deeply impactful key note session which got our leadership programme off to a flying start.

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