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The Pandemic and the lockdown have profoundly changed the scenarios in which we operate, and there are increasingly frequent appeals to companies to embark on a path aimed at digital transformation.

As we know, the digital transformation of a business can involve many aspects, from automation to computerization, from dematerialization to virtualization, and from cloud computing to the implementation of mobile technologies for both work processes and customer contact.

All these elements have well-defined definitions and characteristics, but the fact is that they are only tools and vehicles. Digital transformation is a process that uses digital technologies, which represent its content, and rather entails a change in cultural character. According to McKinsey, the failure of about 70% of digital transformation projects is due to a lack of understanding of these aspects.

For this reason, McKinsey identifies 4 key principles to keep in mind because they are common to successful initiatives.

Play big
First of all, digital transformation projects must be ambitious; they should not seek incremental improvements but rather focus on radical transformations to invest in an all-in mode. Those who seek digital transformation only for a matter of cost savings, for example, risk positioning themselves for failure.

Move fast
Secondly, digital transformation projects must be completed quickly. This means quickly and without wasting time. There must be a strong and shared feeling that the bridge we are crossing is burning and that there is no way back. That the transformation being undertaken is the only path to take.

Share the vision
The third aspect shared by successful digital transformation projects is the sharing of the vision with the people who are part of the organization. The clear and engaging definition of a future scenario in which the organization has evolved and reached the desired positioning and in which people can have a place and define a role for themselves. A shared vision has the very important task of giving meaning to the transformation effort and a direction to the path being taken.

Stretch aspirations
The last element of successful projects is the ability to push people beyond what they believe is possible. The role of leaders in this respect is fundamental. They are the ones who must create the growth culture necessary to allow people to leave their comfort zones and push themselves into new territories with the desire to experiment and confront new and important challenges.

    Our idea is that all transformation initiatives should be based on three elements:

    • identification of the desired destination (awareness),
    • assessment of where we are now and of the path to go (assessment)
    • definition of the activities to be implemented (action) to achieve the desired transformation.

    I had the opportunity to address this topic in a recent webinar on the Rinascita Digitale platform.

    Digital transformation is rarely an exclusively technological process. Rather, this process involves questioning the status quo and building a culture oriented towards growth and change.