Learn what digital transformation is and identify which stage your organization is in.
- When we're talking about digital transformation what actually is digital transformation? Well, I define it as a way to create new value for customers and employees by really tapping into what the digital economy can create for those people. And what that means for the HR community and for you as a professional is how will you think about the way you work and the way that you relate to people through this lens of digital. And in particular, what are the capabilities and skills and in particular, the mindsets that you have to adopt in order to be digital.
So when you're thinking about digital transformation it really is a journey and where you are on that is a really good place to begin. The way that we think about it is that there are six stages to your digital transformation journey. And before we get too anxious about this, this is not about making sure that you go all the way through it. It's okay to be at the very beginning, because we all have to start some place. So the first stage is what I call business as usual. It means that you're going about your work, you're aware of the digital tools that are out there, and when it's needed and you need to, you bring it in.
You use them, but it's not something that you turn to every day as a way that you are going about your business. The second stage is when you are present and active. It means that you are aware of these tools and when they are readily available to you and you know that everybody else is using it then you'll be active there too as well. So this is moving beyond just that usual status quo of business as usual and you're actively beginning to use some of these tools. I think many HR professionals are at this stage in particular.
The third phase is when things are formalized. This is when you as an HR professional are starting to think systematically about where digital will come into your workday, into the processes, and changing the way that you develop relationships with people. There's a formalized plan of action of what you will do and what you won't do. The fourth stage is when you become strategic. Now this is more than just a formalized plan, we now have at this point an idea of when you are going to use digital to accomplish larger business goals.
And in particular, how it's going to impact the business outcomes. No longer is HR operating in its own little silo and department, it's thinking about digitally how are we going to transform the entire organization and strategically how are we going to approach this. The fifth stage is converged. This is when you're breaking down departmental silos and HR is starting to integrate and create these integration points around processes, around platforms, and also with people moving seamlessly between departments.
This is when you're really starting to take that strategic plan and bring it throughout the entire organization. The sixth and final stage is innovative and adaptive. This is when digital becomes part of the DNA of the organization, where people are working seamlessly together. So instead of having to have a digital plan of how we're going to do digital, you don't need it anymore, you just naturally are digital. Now one thing to realize, this sixth stage is not something that even the most digital companies have accomplished.
They're still striving towards that. And that's because all the newest technologies keep coming into the space and constantly changing the way that we work. So we're always going to be striving to adopt these new technologies into the way that we work. So now matter where you are in your journey that is the place where you are beginning. Don't worry that you're not at the very last stage or how you're going to get to the next stage. Really think about where you are. What are the things that you're doing so right right now? Keep those things going. And what are the next small things that you can take along this journey to become more digital?
- Recognize why today’s employees choose to work for an organization.
- Recall the importance of separating feedback from compensation decisions.
- Explain how HR should view the process of digital transformation.
- Identify how beliefs are translated into everyday actions.
- Name the lifeblood of HR.