According to Brian Solis, executives should identify and publicly support change agents to make enterprise-wide digital transformation a mandate. Solis, Principal Analyst at Prophet’s Altimeter Group, just published an insightful report, “The Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto”, that examines how the unsung heroes behind digital transformation lead change from within their organizations. Solis writes:
“The pace of innovation and disruption is accelerating. Digital Darwinism is increasingly becoming either a threat or an opportunity based on how organizations react to change. Digital change agents and leaders are instrumental in helping their companies more effectively compete in this digital economy and to successfully move them along the Six Stages of Digital Transformation. But the value of change agents to the organization goes well beyond their digital transformation efforts. By challenging the status quo and championing new ideas, they expand the organization’s thinking, agility, and capabilities. They help instill curiosity and promote an innovative mindset to tackle problems and create opportunities in new ways. They help modernize workforce skillsets and processes. They improve customer and employee experiences. They contribute to the development of potentially profitable products and services. And with each step they take, they help the organization learn and grow. Given their incredible value, leaders should compile a portfolio of digital change agents in their organization and consider how to best deploy and develop each of them.”The report is the result of more than five years of research and interviews with executives who have led digital transformation project within well-respected companies, including Coca-Coal, NFL, Samsung, Starbucks, and Visa. A few highlights:
- Change agents can rise from anywhere in the organization and often begin as digital advocates employees who introduce or promote new digital ideas or products — and eventually progress to experienced transformers.
- Although digital transformation is one of the biggest trends in business today and companies are investing heavily in new technologies and innovations, many still do so as a grassroots e ort driven by resourceful individuals — digital change agents — across the organization.
- Although digital change agents eventually become proficient at managing challenges and facing detractors, they need help from the top to truly help the organization progress along the Six Stages of Digital Transformation — they can’t positively affect transformation on their own.