What are the Success Factors for Digital Transformation?

What are the Success Factors for Digital Transformation?

Organisational Success Podcast

Digital transformation is a complicated proposition with lots of moving parts. In this podcast, David and Melanie look at what the research and experience says about what it takes to be successful with digital transformation.



List of Podcasts in this series

  1. What is digital transformation? 
  2. The trust for transformation model
  3. Success factors for digital transformation – this podcast
  4. The experience of a transformation consultant working with digital transformation in organisations
  5. Transformational Leadership, Uncertainty and Digital Transformation
  6. Design Thinking and Company Resilience Support Organisations During Transformations
  7. A Roadmap for Facilitating Successful Digital Transformation


Digital transformation success factors

Digital Transformation 3 – Success factors for Digital Transformation

[00:00:00] David: Welcome back. I’m David Wilkinson from the Oxford Review. We’ve got Melanie Marshall who’s in Australia. This is the third of five podcasts that we’re doing, and today what we’re going to be doing is looking at the digital transformation success factors. And in particular, we’re going to be having a look at a briefing that we did in a year or so ago, around a paper that was a meta analysis of a whole series of other papers, looking at what factors actually lead to success within digital transformation and what they found, this study and I’ll put the reference in the show notes is that there are seven kind of primary factors and 27 sub factors that are emerging from the research as these factors for success. Just before we start, I just want to draw a distinction here, what we’re talking about when we talk about briefings and when we talk about papers. So when we’re talking about papers, we’re referring to the original paper that came from some form of research that’s being published somewhere. When we’re talking about briefings what we’re talking about is our [00:01:00]take on research with additions from other pieces of research. So there are a synopsis of the current research in that area, and so what we’re going off is a briefing that includes a number of other papers as well. So, let’s get going. One of the things that happened within the digital transformation space, well just within society and within work is that there’s been an explosion in what’s known as SMAC technologies and a lot of these technologies are starting to converge, and what we mean by SMAC that’s S M A C is Social Mobile Analytics and Cloud technologies. And they’re starting to converge and create a whole series of different opportunities for businesses. And, there’s a, as I say, there’s a paper that did a meta analysis of a whole series of other papers, that was presented at a conference in Hawaii in 2020. So we’re going to have a look at what they found with the seven major digital transformation success factors, and have a look at some of those sub factors. 

[00:01:57] Melanie: I like the numbers on this David, because it [00:02:00] incorporates 89 research papers and 16 case studies of real projects. So when you say meta analysis, my brain goes of what? So, yeah, when I read that it was 89 research papers and 16 case studies of real projects and programs that gives weight to what we’re about to discuss. 

[00:02:21] David: Yeah, exactly. And we’ve added a further three or four meta analysis to that, coming from a different direction, just to kind of underpin it. So, you know, this is good research. It’s not just, you know, somebody’s idea as they got out of the shower. So you’d be surprised how many papers you see that kind of thing, and there’s no evidence behind them. So anyway, the first factor is, trying to determine the digital trigger and what that means is kind of two things. One is understanding the types of trigger that promoted digital transformation from within the organisation. And then trying to understand what induced the organisation to engage in digital transformation as an external factor. So, [00:03:00] because there’ll be new technologies and things that have kind of prompted this, what are your thoughts about that factor, Melanie? 

[00:03:05] Melanie: Yeah, well, in our session yesterday, we talked a little bit about the fear factor, of be careful about what you wish for when it comes to transparency and trying to understand more about how your organisation or your company actually operating as opposed to things that people are telling you. And, what I really like about this understanding what triggers the need for digital transformation, any transformation in that matter is understanding and being really honest about the current state. So an honest evaluation of the current state is both, it can be very scary, but at the same time, it can also be very freeing because it also gives you permission and evidence to suggest that things be done very different.

[00:03:51] David: Yeah, and I think it’s, so one of the things that crops up a lot in organisational transformation and change is the idea of kind of going back [00:04:00] to the founding story of the organisation. And quite often, when organisations kind of lose it a bit, what you find is that they’ve veered from that founding story because the founding story creates the structure for the organisation and a lot of the activities come from that founding story. And what this seems to be suggesting is that there’s also a digital founding story as well and understanding what that is and what’s motivating is to go down this line and so the rest of the organisation understands that can help with the whole process. 

[00:04:32] Melanie: Yeah, well, certainly as there are more and more emerging technologies come into the marketplace. It means that the story has the capacity to shift, it’s a little bit like if we were still operating off the model that we were playing on when we were four, that’s not going to work when we’re 40 plus, you know, things change, things shift, as does the availability and the way that you can use technology in a different way. So I very much connect with that whole [00:05:00] notion of knowing what those triggers are, and why those things are important, and what part of your story actually needs to change? As we mentioned before, is it the identity of the company that needs to do something very different and credit a whole new value proposition? Or is it the value proposition and what we were founded on, it’s still very relevant and very useful for people. Is it more just about delivering it in a way that that provides an even better outcome or it’s delivered the same value, but consumed differently? 

[00:05:31] David: And I think it’s important to record that, come later who are trying to understand. So, because they’ll be engaging in similar kind of activities in years to come and trying and to understand why we made this decision. Now part the stats story and the history is part of those decisions, and it helps people to understand why in 10 years time, five years time to understand how we got to where we did so that they can move on as well and quite a lot of organisations aren’t very good at a recording it, or [00:06:00] keeping that knowledge within the organisation, which I think is a real. 

[00:06:03] Melanie: Yeah, and it’s an interesting segue into the next success factor too David, which is how do you cultivate a digital culture? That’s a really, it’s a really interesting statement or success factor to make and I think for the most part when people talk about culture, they don’t fully understand what culture means. So now taking, introducing this sense of a digital culture, I must admit my brain county goes, what.. So I’d love your thoughts on that.

[00:06:30] David: You know, I just think back to organisations, cause I’ve been around for quite a long time. I kind of think back to organisations before computers and before any form of, you know, so I was a police officer, I do remember computers first coming in and everybody crowding around one, and go ooh ooh, you know, chimping and all that kind of stuff, but actually the nature of digital technologies that have entered the workplace over the years has fundamentally changed the culture. And I remember when I first started work, we [00:07:00] had rooms full of typists, who were typing up statements and things, seriously, we had this massive room with a head typist I think on a platform who controlled this and it was like something… 

[00:07:11] Melanie: .. equivalent of a typing pool, wasn’t it? Like the typing pool and the typing pool were the ones that did the memos and did all of the other bits and pieces, yeah.

[00:07:19] David: Exactly. And there was a very scary woman who was sat on this platform with her typewriter, who’d come round kind of wrapping knuckles and things like that, and I was a police officer then, but we were all scared of her as well. And you couldn’t, you weren’t allowed in that room, you had to post your statements and things through a little pigeon holes so that you didn’t clap eyes on the typist, and they didn’t exactly have another exit or anything like that, but the culture then shifted. And it wasn’t just because of the things that we were doing, the whole nature of the organisation started to changes as computers come in and the thinking change, there’s a really funny story that, I hope this guy isn’t listening, we got a brand new, this is technically …. we got a brand new fax machine [00:08:00] in the police station, and it was like, and he was put in a room with a lock and key and the superintendent had the key, and if you wanted to, you had to be trained to use the fax machine, go off on a course.. 

[00:08:10] Melanie: .. training for the fax machine. I love it. 

[00:08:12] David: Yeah, and us lowly beings, we’re not allowed anywhere near you know, you could peer through the window, but you weren’t allowed to touch her or anything like that. And I was in this.. 

[00:08:20] Melanie: .. golden fax machine, that.. 

[00:08:21] David: .. . It was on a pedestal in the middle of this, seriously. So I was at the superintendent, I was a Sergeant at the time I was in the superintendent’s room doing something, and the chief inspector came in and said, I’ve got this letter to send to prosecutions, our prosecutions was actually just across the road. He said, can you just sign it off, and I’ll stick it in an envelope and I’ll get someone to run it over, and the superintendent said, well, why don’t you fax it? And he said, well what, he said, yeah, yeah, just fax the letter over and look at it instantly, really, he said, because he was the chief inspector, so he was allowed to touch these things, he said, here’s the key, all the instructions are on the wall just send it over. So I am talking to the superintendent, the chief inspector comes back with the key, they had done it and walks off, you’d see. Anyway, the phone rings and the [00:09:00] superintendent picks it up, and it turns out that the prosecution’s department who were over the road got this fax of an envelope because it’s chief inspector, put the letter into an envelope, addressed it, stuck it through the fax machine, that’s not much to do anyway. That’s… 

[00:09:13] Melanie: ..why you need the training. I would do something like that. That would be so something that I would do. 

[00:09:18] David: Whilst it sounds like that’s got nothing to do with culture. There’s a cultural understanding about the way things work, and this speaks a lot into this idea of cultivating a digital culture, it’s not only about understanding how the stuff works, it’s about the impact that that has on the way that we think and our values, and the way that we operate and the decisions that we make on an ongoing basis. And right now with AI and machine learning and the convergence of those SMAC technologies that I was talking about before, the social mobile analytics and cloud technologies, is fundamentally changing the culture of organisations.

[00:09:53] Melanie: Yeah. Yeah. Now, I get it. And, also, yeah, the social aspect in particularly. Even something as [00:10:00] simple as you know, we now all have computers in our back pockets for our mobile phone. Once upon a time, I would never even think about calling into work, like texting into work, sick, you know, it always warranted a phone call with follow-up email. So, it was all good, that was like a professional courtesy, and it was even my daughter the other day, she’s like, oh mom, I’m feeling sick, do I just send like a text and I’m like, well, no, like, try make the phone call, then you send an email and you know, you’re sending a text now, I don’t know whether that’s the right thing to do. But certainly for me, culturally, I wouldn’t dream of just like sending a text.. 

[00:10:36] David: Yeah. And we see that, so there’s been quite a few studies looking at the culture of like social media, and so I was involved in some stuff that we were doing here, looking at Twitter, and if you go on to Twitter and in fact that to me strangely enough, yesterday, so there was a post, I’m into history and things like that and it was a post with a picture of some the ancients. So we have this idea of Romans in flowing white gowns and things [00:11:00] like that the reality is that very few people had white clothes until about 13 hundreds because there was no bleach and cotton actually produces a more gray thing. The Egyptians did have white, but it was largely reserved for very very rich people, cause it was a very difficult thing to do and most people in order to get the strength because they didn’t have the machines and things, it was hand spun. They’d mix it with flax or other types of. So, and there was this picture on the tweet of all these people in white gams. And I just made a comment on the tweet saying, actually it wasn’t until about the 13 hundreds that white clothing became kind of a little bit more normal. It was very rare rather than having a room full of people who weren’t rich, you know, farmers who might stuff a isn’t practical and all the rest of it. So, you know, the signature’s a little bit, you know, kind of, centric to now and the abuse I got 

[00:11:50] Melanie: You get. Absolutely. 

[00:11:51] David: Absolutely 

[00:11:52] Melanie: Know it all you had. 

[00:11:53] David: Well, yes, I didn’t actually intend to do that. I thought I was engaging in more of a historical conversation, but so we get the [00:12:00] social cultures that are different on different types of social media as well. So they can impact organisational culture and how organisations are navigating things as well. So as far as I’m concerned, that’s what the kind of cultivating and digital culture, thinking about it, thinking about what kind of culture we want and having some robust government practices within the organisation around both the digital side of things, but also just thinking about how do we want people, you know, what values do we two for the culture to have, and just keeping a check on how the culture is developing, because if cultures are dynamic and developing, rather than just letting it run and suddenly you look back and go, we’ve got a really tiny culture here. 

[00:12:44] Melanie: It goes directly to the notion of, you know, maintaining and defining a clear vision and constantly checking back in with that vision. So you may have a vision of your company as a whole and what that looks like as a service type organisation or whatever organisation you [00:13:00] are, but then also ensuring that that vision has an alignment with what the digital vision is as well based on the impact that you’re talking about there. So I think that that covers off nicely, which is that third success factor around, you know, the culture is going to change as a result of an introduction to, with some of these technologies, how does that align with non-technical or non-digital vision, so that the two can be integrated in a way that doesn’t mess that up.

[00:13:27] David: Yeah, exactly. So that third factor about developing a digital vision, and there’s kind of four sub factors to this. Firstly there’s the need for an honest evaluation of the organisations current position in terms of digital technology and the level of digital awareness the organisation has right now, then some form of formulation of a digital future. And what that’s gonna mean for the organisation, and that’s across kind of structure, the culture that we’ve been talking about, policies, procedures, and how we’re going to do business, but also the kinds of products and services and what our [00:14:00] output is likely to be as well. 

[00:14:01] Melanie: That one could not be any more important in my book. Is that definition of what an end to end vision is going to base. So when I think in terms of, always thinking in terms of service and experience, what is the end to end experience that people are going to have either producing a service or product in a, delivering a service or a product, as well as use the service or a product. And if you can’t be really clear, at least around what the intended future state is and to end well, the question is how do you know what those change impacts are going to be? And how can you plan to get people ready? To do the changes that they need to make in order to adopt, not just adopt the technology, but also use it ongoing and really get the full value of the investment that you’re making. So, yeah, I mean, it goes into those digital drivers, the digital drivers are an explanation and understanding of both your current and your future state, with respect to the [00:15:00] end-to-end experience across multiple disciplines, multiple bonds of service delivery, as well as multiple technical components, because there is never ever going to be one digital solution that’s going to do it all, and quite often in that end to end service, you could have five, six hundreds of technical products, technical services, and there are a couple of different types that you can have in there that are all responsible for creating a seamless experience. So, yeah, without those sort of end-to-end views makes it really hard for people to see how they are going to contribute to that end vision.

[00:15:38] David: Yeah. And a core component of that, and this is one of those sub-factors, which is about establishing a kind of a clear digital strategy that people understand, and they understand how they fit into that strategy and what they need to do in order to make that strategy actually occur and the output of that and also establishing a digital communication strategy, you [00:16:00] know, how are we going to let people know what’s going on? What changes are going on now, progress, have, you know, how far have we come? What changes are needed? Because, you know, as we said, in one of the previous podcasts, you know, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. You know, you create a…. 

[00:16:14] Melanie: And we also talked about having that business intelligence and that level of governance and reporting for those evidence-based decisions. And that’s part of creating that information flow and the communication, the digital organisation, creating a digital organisation, what is your take on that? 

[00:16:31] David: Oh, right. Okay. Yeah. So, just go back a bit because there’s the full factor, which is determining digital drivers, which we’ve kind of talked about a little bit but that also includes things like working out which technologies we’re going to leverage, determining the skills, knowledge and capabilities within the organisation. And that’s quite important because these are the people who are going to be operating with it, working with it and determining what resources are going to be required, and then.. 

[00:16:57] Melanie: What’s the impact if we don’t change. And I [00:17:00] think that’s another thing that is often missed is that the focus is so much on the benefit towards the end that sometimes people can forget that change isn’t an option. 

[00:17:10] David: Yes.

[00:17:10] Melanie: And we talked a bit before, around people start with speaking around transformation, but when the going gets tough, then there’s a risk then, or I guess a tendency to then accept a like for like, or just a replacement of, you know, an upgrade of technology as opposed to something that’s really going to innovate the way that things are done. So I think as much as it’s important to go, well, what are we going to have to do differently? And what are the benefits for doing things differently? What are we going to get, I also think that that notion, and it comes back to the honest assessment part is what’s going to happen if we don’t change within the timeframe, what if we really just drag their heels on this and pretend that it’s not real.

[00:17:52] David: I think that’s such an important question. I think it’s a really important question to ask within an organisation, you know, what if we don’t do this, what’s likely to [00:18:00] occur because it does provide motivation to engage in change, because usually the answer isn’t very pretty, particularly if competitors are kind of leaping ahead, yeah, definitely. But that question also brings about the thoughts about, okay, so what parts of what we’ve got right now, particularly in terms of things like relationships and things do we want to hold on to and how are we going to hold on to certain aspects of our identity, even though we talked in the first one about differentiators about digital transformation as opposed to IT enabled organisational transformation is that, digital transformation means that there is going to be an identity change, but there’ll still be elements that we want to hold on to, and there’ll be still factors and values that we still want to engage in and that question helps to work out what those kinds of things. 

[00:18:49] Melanie: Yeah, certainly when I’m workshopping this with clients, I really break it down into three areas. It’s what do you want to continue? So what’s good? What do we want to keep doing? Because it’s [00:19:00] working. What is something that we want to stop that’s not adding value, it’s creating pain for people. It could just could be done differently. And then what’s something that we need to start. So perhaps something that we haven’t done before that will lead us into a better more sustainable outcomes. So yeah, that whole continue stop start notion can be really useful under those frames.

[00:19:23] David: Yeah. And it’s an important discussion to have, because quite often, these discussions aren’t hard to cross the organisation that had in the C-suite, but if you’re going to take people along with you, they’re the kinds of questions and the kinds of thinking that need to be had across an organisation. And certainly that speaks into this fifth factor, which is what you were referring to about actually establishing a digital organisation, establishing digital innovation functional structures, so that people are thinking about new ways of using this, because one of the things that we know is that just because some software house or something has developed a product, doesn’t mean that’s how people are going to [00:20:00] use it, and quite often that’s the whole idea of the agile, in terms of software development agile we’re talking about rather than agile and flexibility, hopefully they’re in touch with the customer. 

[00:20:10] Melanie: So definitely that notion of function, what is the function that these technology needs to provide us with? You also mentioned the organisation around that, and that’s where I think really understanding service integration and managing. Because particularly when you’ve got so many technologies coming into things, if you don’t know how to manage those things in an integrated way, and you’re not going to be governing over the top of them, it then becomes very easy for somebody who uses the technology in one particular area to change something which could then have a horrible catastrophic effect up or down the value chain, because they didn’t have the visibility of the whole picture, so it does always come back to that level of organisation isn’t just around, you know, what technology are we going to use [00:21:00] to be able to solve a particular problem or create something that’s better, but how are we going to connect the dots so that technology is integrated across the full journey. And even if it’s not related to one particular journey, is there a dependency of that technology on something else? Particularly when you’re looking at infrastructure, cause you know, once you start mucking around with those things, well, it then becomes very tricky that everything sits on top then becomes a bit like a house of cards and that’s not something that you can outsource, but like you can’t outsource the responsibility of governing those things. 

[00:21:34] David: Exactly. And what that means is you need somebody with an overview of what’s going on and someone who’s kind of just watching because and, that’s not about compliance, that’s not about making sure people are doing what they’re doing. It’s about noticing emergence of things, and there may be some really useful emergence, properties that start to occur, that we can capture in use quite a lot of organisations miss those because they’re not looking and they’re just [00:22:00]stuck in the weeds of implementing. 

[00:22:01] Melanie: Yeah. And if I was to summarise it, it would be strategic oversight with operational insight. And if you’ve got those two things that strategic oversight with operational insight, that organisation is going to be so much more effective. 

[00:22:18] David: Yeah. And I think it’s important that whichever function or whoever does that is less bound to the structure and the operation of the organisation. And it goes back to the things that we were talking about in the previous ones about having an anthropological view of things. And I mean, not from the perspective of what am I seeing here, what’s going on from a, as an objective, you know, that whole idea, you know, if I was an alien just landed you know, what sense I’m I making of all of this with as few preconditions as possible, and it’s that enables the organisation to capture those emerging properties. 

[00:22:53] Melanie: Yeah. And certainly I say, if you were to label that as a particular role, I would say that as a chief [00:23:00] experience officer, that that really looks in terms of not just the customer experience with the employee experience of the whole, where their whole mission is to have that strategic oversight, operational insight without any agenda that any one particular area gets better service or better quality of the product over another because they constantly, I guess that cape out of the experience. 

[00:23:23] David: Yes. Yeah, definitely. And that kind of leads on to the sixth factor that determining the transformation areas, you know, what are the transformation opportunities from the technology that we know about and that we’re going to be using? What are the target transformation areas? So what are we going to focus on? And having kind of digital transformation initiatives that we create across the organisation, and I think it’s those that focus that’s important rather than just trying to kind of, okay we’re just going to change the organisation.

[00:23:52] Melanie: Oh yeah, totally. And this is the one that I see most areas trip up on the most because, you know, [00:24:00] transformations like, oh yeah, it’s everything. It’s you know, it is, but it’s not really in the sense that you really got to look at what is the thing that you can change, that’s going to have the best return on investment for the resources that you currently have as well as what you’re prepared to invest in. And I think that level of investment is really important. I was only talking to a couple of agencies the other day, where they were saying, oh, you know, I’m the transformation lead for blah company and you go awesome, okay, great, so tell me about your team and they go, oh, no, no, I new. I’m like, okay, well give me an understanding of what you’re trying to shift, and they were describing like massive, large scale things that were going to totally shake up, not just their organisation’s identity, but also the way in which the organisation was going to be delivering, yeah, their existing services. So you’re looking at business as usual, massive impacts as well as, oh, and now we’re going to do these other things that are going to be even different again. And to [00:25:00] think that, well, they were just going to have one lead person who was going to somehow pull all of the strings and get the attention of all of these other people who were busy doing what they were currently working on, it was just insane. And you can see the pain in their face and the acknowledgement that they had been set up to fail before they even started, and I said, well, there’s just no appetite, you know, the money is not there, the resources aren’t there. It’s like, well, the best advice that I can give you is to just start with one thing, you know, what is the one thing that would make the most amount of difference right now at the beginning of a journey. Cause it’s.. I love thinking in terms of flow and stage gates. It’s a little bit like if you want to go to a store to buy a pair of jeans, you know, there is no point focusing on how fancy the jeans are if you can’t get to the shop, yeah, or you don’t have the money. Like there are so many dependencies and variables of you going getting a pair of jeans and going, awesome, these are great, mate, and they fit. What I have seen happen a [00:26:00] lot is that people go, boom transformation. All of these stages require, you know, 40 or 50 different projects because there are five or 10 different pieces of technology that are going to be involved in this transformation. Let’s all kick off five or 10 projects that will enable this journey, and you go, what? That doesn’t even make sense because that product’s not even going to come into play, unless you’ve got this product first and that all of the information that particular beginning of your journey is streamlined and instinct and ready to get to stage two. So if you really truly don’t have a lot of resources right now, or if you don’t have the investment to be able to do it all at once, or even if you did, it doesn’t make sense, if you haven’t first built the foundational elements, and got trust in that space first.

[00:26:51] Melanie: So yeah, I think one thing is about determining which areas are going to be transformed and in which order, but also which [00:27:00] areas are not going to be transformed because there is no point working on those right now, even in parallel until the first element are really working the way that.

[00:27:10] David: Yeah, it’s about working out the sequencing events. You know, there’s a saying we can do anything, but we can’t do everything right now. 

[00:27:16] Melanie: Or all at once 

[00:27:17] David: You can’t and it’s about working out, how are we going to sequence these events? So we may need to change the sequence as we learn more, as we go along. And there’s a whole area of research called a resource based view of organisations, organisational structure and restructuring and things like that. And what that highlights is exactly what you’re saying, which is, you know, have you got the resources right now for doing it, are these resources going to arrive incrementally over time has move through the project? And quite often organisations kind of forget about that, they get hung up on the vision without working.. 

[00:27:48] Melanie: That’s right, the vision. I guess I hung up on the vision that they forget the reality. So, yeah, I think with these seven, it’s important to not cherry pick just the ones that you like, like all seven success [00:28:00] factors actually have to be, considered and implemented you can’t just choose your favorite song and hope for the best because it doesn’t work. 

[00:28:08] David: Yeah. And I’ll summarise all seven when we finished. In fact, we’re just coming to the last one now, which is, evaluating the impact. Kind of defining the outcomes and what the impact should be, not just for us, but for the customer, and evaluating and using as feedback, actual customer experience as well. Define what the expected organisational impact is going to be, evaluating and using feedback within the organisation. And also working out, how are we going to measure this? So what are your thoughts about that? 

[00:28:35] Melanie: Yeah, once again, it comes back to, if you’re going to ask for feedback, and if you’re going to measure it, you’ve got to be committed to act on it, and you’ve got to be committed and open enough to be able to accept what comes your way, because you’re not always going to get feedback that’s great, and that’s an okay thing. It’s not personal. You know, when you ask for feedback, although it might hurt to get stuff [00:29:00] that’s not so good. That feedback is usually given because the person on the receiving end wants you to do better, they actually want you to be successful, and even if the way in which the feedback is provided, Yes, you know, it might feel like a punch to the face because I’ve seen plenty of that. You’ve really got to look underneath the surface and go, what does this feedback mean? You know, if we’re getting this feedback, how can we ask questions that actually allow people to give us more of a solution focused recommendation? And I think there’s a real art and science in how you ask for feedback, because the way that you ask will determine how people respond. And this goes back to when I did a stint doing usability and accessable evaluations, I wasn’t an accessibility expert by any means, it was another gentleman that did that and he was amazing, but when I was doing the usability evaluations of our websites and other digital products, it was really important to ask for things that could make something [00:30:00]even better, because you didn’t want people to find things that were bad because they were finding things that were bad, you really just wanted to ask a question around, you know, something as simple as on a score of zero to 10, how much do you trust this? You know, and I would say, oh, look, probably about a four, okay, I might say, why would you rate it a 4, all because of this? What would take that rating slightly closer to maybe a six cause ten is too ridiculous from a fall, but what could take it up to about a six? And what you’ll find is that people will tell you the most important thing that needs to happen to be able to, then you take, then give that to the developers or the designers to say, this is the thing that needs to be designed, maybe not in the way that they’ve asked for it, but this is the problem that they want you to solve. What can you do there? And, it was always much more effective than if you just said, you know, how would you rate your experience? Tell us all the good stuff, tell us all the bad stuff, because that’s not really how you would [00:31:00] communicate a good or a bad experience, particularly if it was something like, well, you know, would you recommend this to somebody else? And I go, oh yeah. Would you recommend it to your grandmother? Oh, no, no, not my grandmother because, I’d have to sit down with her and we’d have to explain all of this stuff. It’s like, okay, well, what would make it easier for your grandmother? Oh, it would be this. So, you know, coming back to this point about evaluating and measuring the impact, be really clear around the questions that you want to ask, why you’re asking them, but also how can you ask them in a way that will encourage people to provide the thing that they’re wanting most from you, because that’s where your priorities come in. So instead of you having a to-do list of 50 different recommendations, you just cutting straight to the chase, if nothing else do that, and I’ll be a little bit happier. Chances are that one thing will get rid of all of the other recommendations or most of them. 

[00:31:52] David: And it’s also important to triangulate feedback. It’s very easy to get hung up on one person’s or feedback just from one source. [00:32:00] Particularly if it’s negative, we try to fix that without triangulating it and seeing whether it’s, you know, somebody is odd and just changing your system because of that. 

[00:32:08] Melanie: Also too, that might not work. Even if somebody is odd. Is that the volume of experience that you’re receiving? So for example, you know, Qantas, I know they did a bit of this and I could be getting this totally wrong, so if I am, excuse me out there Qantas, but the intent is the same. So they wanted to know, how often people lost their baggage and what they could improve in that space. That’s great. That’s awesome. So you’ve asked for some feedback on that. The main thing that people experienced the most is how they check in to their, how they check in, like when they get into the airport, how do you check into, to get to your flight? That’s actually the primary experience that people have. So the baggage thing, although that might be an important thing, it’s such a small number of people who experienced that, that if you were to put all of your energy and resources into just fixing baggage, you [00:33:00] would miss out on the millions of people who experience, you know, having to check in every time they fly. So I think triangulation is one thing and also the volume of the experience, you know, how important is it for you to fix that thing? Although, the cooler sexier thing that may be an executive is complaining about, but not everybody else really cares that much for. 

[00:33:21] David: Yes. Yeah, exactly. Brilliant. Thanks Melanie. Let me just quickly summarise what the seven factors are, before we finish up. So, the seven main factors that this meta analysis found was firstly, determining the digital trigger, secondly, cultivating a digital culture, developing a digital vision, determining into digital drivers, establishing a digital organisation and determining transformation areas, so what are we going to focus on, and then being able to evaluate the impact. 

[00:33:51] David: That’s brilliant. And, we shall return in the next podcast with some more around digital transformation. Thank you, Melanie. 

[00:33:59] Melanie: [00:34:00] Thanks, David. Talk to you. 

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David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson is the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Review. He is also acknowledged to be one of the world's leading experts in dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty and developing emotional resilience. David teaches and conducts research at a number of universities including the University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division, Cardiff University, Oxford Brookes University School of Business and many more. He has worked with many organisations as a consultant and executive coach including Schroders, where he coaches and runs their leadership and management programmes, Royal Mail, Aimia, Hyundai, The RAF, The Pentagon, the governments of the UK, US, Saudi, Oman and the Yemen for example. In 2010 he developed the world's first and only model and programme for developing emotional resilience across entire populations and organisations which has since become known as the Fear to Flow model which is the subject of his next book. In 2012 he drove a 1973 VW across six countries in Southern Africa whilst collecting money for charity and conducting on the ground charity work including developing emotional literature in children and orphans in Africa and a number of other activities. He is the author of The Ambiguity Advanatage: What great leaders are great at, published by Palgrave Macmillian. See more: About: About David Wikipedia: David's Wikipedia Page