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Spencer Stuart: Digital Transformation: Five Key Learnings

Transformation is on the agenda of nearly every company. Disruptive technologies and the accelerating pace of change are constantly threatening to undermine legacy business. Spencer Stuart spoke with six digital veterans about their experience: What they did right, what they would do differently, what they learned along the way and how these experiences will inform their future. Based on these discussions, Spencer Stuart identified five key lessons for making faster progress on digital initiatives.

Articulate a digital strategy that positions technology as a differentiator. The right strategy identifies the digital forces that are impacting the company and addresses the opportunities or threats they represent.   

Structure for speed and agility: Challenge the org chart and standard processes. As digital disruption accelerates change, many companies find that their traditional organizational structure and processes are incompatible with innovation. In response, many companies have moved to streamline their organizational structures and decision-making processes.

Lead from the front: The CEO and senior team must champion change. Without support from senior leaders, digital transformation is bound to fail. A leader who does not have a change mindset may be more damaging to the transformation agenda than having no leader at all.

Inject change-makers and digital influencers throughout the organization. Legacy companies have learned that a transformational mindset is a must, as is the ability to nurture innovation and make fast nimble decisions. They need to have courage, digital understanding and be able to manage a P&L.

Create a company culture that nurtures innovation. Resistance to adopt new ideas is a major impediment to the success of digital initiatives. Companies have learned that culture can be an obstacle to keeping pace with change, and a company culture that encourages creativity and risk-taking is necessary for innovation.

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