DX : X-Factor vs. Hygiene
Digital Transformation – a surprising number of senior leaders just don’t get it. I was recently privy to a process for the selection of a Chief Digital Officer. I could observe but not change the process. It was so very interesting to me to note how people fell back on what they knew and assumed that what they don’t know won’t make that much of a difference. Yet if we are talking of shifting paradigms (read DX) then what we don’t know is really the most important part, not?
I am reminded of the tale of the Swiss watchmaking industry, especially through their crisis period in the 70’s where their inability to adapt to changing market conditions which led to them losing more than 90% of their export market within that decade. It’s also interesting how they recovered. More here. They initially failed in one of the earliest digital transformations.
What was interesting to me during the process to select the Chief Digital Officer was the emphasis placed on the ability of the individual to be able to manage change. Yet it appeared as if the recruiting firm was not that interested in the individual being able to predict what change would look like. That, I think, may be a terrible mistake.
Harsh? Well consider this. Change has been managed for aeons. We have recently analysed it more formally and understanding around what is required to manage change successfully has proliferated. In short, change management has become a hygiene factor. Change management skills are ubiquitous. Pretty much as common as the next MBA.
Digital Transformation is breathtakingly new however. Almost no-one has seen it before. Very few people understand it yet. And even those that understand it best have but glimpsed the future. Even yesterday I encountered a vendor playing with the latest Augmented Reality technology and they were going “we need you to tell us how to use this”. There is nothing wrong with that picture, but it is very useful to illustrate that the fathomed appreciation for what DX entails is preciously scarce. This is where the X-factor lies. This is where your market differentiation lies. This is where your success (even survival) lurks.
So I would recruit for the X-factor. Hang on to it and support it massively with MBAs and financial resources and delivery programmes and you name it. But that X-factor is key. No alternatives really.
Have X-factor need hygiene, we can help. More importantly, need X-factor? Talk to us.