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All aboard to transformation: Are we there yet?

When considering digital transformation, I’ve often seen businesses take on the process by drawing up and planning a comprehensive, start-to-end program of work or collection of projects. This is a great start – except for the bit about having an end.

While it is fair to consider a project endpoint to work out costs, timelines, and to measure success, the most powerful business outcome to be gained – and often the most difficult to achieve well – is the ability to continue changing on an ongoing basis.

Prepare for more change

It’s fair to say that if a business faces change today, and needs to transform to do business differently, it will face more change in the future.

In fact, the pace of change is actually increasing so it stands to reason a key outcome of transformation is to set the organisation up for ongoing change to meet, and also drive, changing market conditions.

The example I like to cite for this is Amazon. Amazon has built a culture and infrastructure for transformative change from day one, and it continues to consider the process of change and transformation as far from complete.

I use the term “day one” deliberately, because Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has coined this approach the Day One philosophy of business. It’s a mindset that encourages innovation, change, transformation, and even internal disruption in the endless quest for customer delight.

And, most importantly, the example of Amazon shows that not only can this approach dominate markets, it can work at incredible scale and rates of growth.

Appreciate the journey

When considering digital transformation as a goal, the core outcomes of value are those things that might otherwise appear as artefacts of a project, but does have a logical end.

These include a culture of innovation; a framework and the infrastructure to support it; and, most importantly, a mindset from the top-down of being open to ongoing transformative change to meet and drive shifting markets.

With digital transformation, the journey is really more important than the destination, because the journey is the destination.

  • Anthony Woodward is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Accelera