Resistance to change is a natural reaction. It takes energy to change our mindset and create new habits, whether it is in the private or professional sphere. Hence, this is equally true for organizational transformations. The COVID-19 outbreak forced us to rapidly adapt all professional and social aspects of our lives. The extreme situation exposed our resilience and flexibility creating momentum and openness to leap forward and set up your organization for digital success. In this article, we share with you our approach and learnings from a decade of digital transformations across industries.
Organizational building blocks for successful digital transformations
Digital transformations help your business to better organize around the customer through cross-functional processes, relevant KPIs, and digital capability-building. We recognize four building blocks in doing so:
- Multidisciplinary team set-up
At online retailer Wehkamp, we designed a multidisciplinary way-of-working to facilitate their transformation towards a truly digital organization. We piloted the new set-up with three teams and – after proven success – supported the extensive roll-out throughout the rest of the organization. Multidisciplinary teams are cross-functional and include amongst others sales, marketing, platform development, and BI specialists. The ultimate goal is to break down silos and ensure more efficient collaboration and communication. This ensures the availability of the right knowledge, and enables joint responsibility for a commercial goal.
- Cascading meeting rhythm
We supported the commercial organization of an online marketplace in formalizing their meeting rhythm across over 20 country organizations by defining recurring operational, tactical, and strategic meetings with agenda guidelines, dashboards, and attendees. This exercise will create a level playing field across teams and countries, as well as ensure transparency on mandates and decision cycles. Each meeting needs a dedicated lead who prepares the agenda, aggregates data, and shares follow-ups.
- Shared KPIs and accountability
We supported recruitment and custom workforce service provider Brunel in translating their strategy into concrete KPIs. To create a sense of shared responsibility, Brunel teams received full ownership in defining these indicators. The KPIs in your organization should always be defined based on shared business objectives like the “eCommerce equation” – traffic x conversion x margin – rather than on department-specific KPIs – for example, total traffic as independent indicator for marketing. To embed the KPIs of your organization in daily operations, these should be visualized and tracked on intuitive and visual dashboards that allow for quick identification of barriers.
- Change stories
Designing a new organizational set-up is one thing, but ensuring buy-in from all your employees is key to success. At Nederlandse Loterij (NLO) – the leading player in the Dutch lottery market – we supported the board in creating cascading change stories to effectively communicate the need for change and its implications to the wider organization. To really make that change happen, we then provided the organization with on-the-ground coaching. This requires sufficient (virtual) face time, communication, education, and participation to motivate employees to be a part of the change. With the great adaptability they’ve shown in these unprecedented times, the momentum is already there. To further stimulate the motivation and momentum, it’s important to celebrate successes together to create a shared sense of accomplishment!
We are here to help
For a decade, SparkOptimus has supported her clients to achieve concrete results in areas that are now more relevant than ever. This has resulted in our fourth #1 position in digital consultancy in the Netherlands. Especially in these days of turmoil, we are determined to help you navigate current and post-Corona times, setting up your (online) business for success. Feel free to reach out – we are here to help.