What is Digital Transformation and how does it differ from IT Enabled Organisational Change?
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What is Digital Transformation and how does it differ from IT Enabled Organisational Change?

Organisational Success Podcast

Digital transformation appears to be everywhere these days. But how does the research define digital transformation? In this, the first in a mini series looking at a range of issues around digital transformation David teams up with Australian consultant Melanie Marshall to talk about what is digital transformation and how it differs from things like IT enabled organisational change.



Melanie Marshall

Melanie is a transformation and organisational change consultant and author of the book Trust: The foundation for Healthy Organisations and Teams. Melanie is based in Australia and spent 10 years in the Royal Australian Airforce and has a degree in Psychology from the University of Canberra. She co-hosts this mini series of seven podcasts with David.

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  • Melanies book – Trust: The Foundation for Healthy Organisations and Teams can be found here:

Podcasts in this series

The mini series of 7 digital transformation podcasts looks like this:

  1. What is digital transformation? – this podcast
  2. The trust for transformation model
  3. Success factors for digital transformation
  4. The experience of a consultant assisting 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 1 – What is Digital Transformation? 

[00:00:00] David: Welcome back. Over the next few podcasts, we’ve got four or five podcasts planned around Digital Transformation, what digital transformation is, the issues that are involved in transformation, some models around doing it, and with me over these podcasts, I’m joined by Melanie Marshall, whom you’ve heard from before. She’s the author of Trust. 

[00:00:20] David: Hi Melanie. 

[00:00:21] Melanie: Hi David. Nice to be. 

[00:00:22] David: Great. Can you just explain why you’re here? What’s your connection to digital transformation after your trust book? 

[00:00:28] Melanie: Well, I’m very much all about the employee experience because my belief is that if you ensure that the employee experience is a good one, the customer experience follows and trust is the foundation of that. And employee experience is about making sure all of the things that people need to be able to perform their roles at work really well, to be able to deliver with trust and to be able to provide products and services that their customers trust, they need a systemised approach for that. So,[00:01:00] that said, nothing in the world right now can be done without some form of technology touching it. So as much as I, I hate technology to a certain degree, I find it quite frustrating because I’m a bit of a Gumby when it comes to that, it’s an absolute must and I’ve had to get my head around it. So, yeah, why I’m here, I keep getting thrown into these digital transformation IT enabled a transformation programs and projects with clients. So, yeah I very much in a bit of a translator in that space. 

[00:01:31] David: Okay. And your getting brought in to a digital transformation project, why? 

[00:01:35] Melanie: Yeah. Well, what tends to happen is, I used to come in at what I’d call the back end, where I’d be engaged as an organisational change manager, where the decisions had been made around. Look. We’ve got this change. We’ve got this technology and you need to prepare people to adopt this, so that we can get the outcome. Now, the problem with coming in at that end is that if the work [00:02:00] isn’t done at the front to really understand in depth, the problem that needs to be solved, whether that say the removing pain or improving the experience of people, if you don’t have an understanding of that, and haven’t done this end to end service design type thinking around it. What tends to happen is by the time it gets to all change management, you start to see things that could have been done a bit differently. You say products or solutions necessarily really fit for purpose. And here in Australia, there’s a saying where you end up putting lipstick on a pig where, where, what you dreamed doesn’t end up becoming a reality because you haven’t done the work with respect to your business processes, your people, you haven’t really streamlined or improved everything that you do manually before you add the tech solutions. So, yeah, I used to come in at the tail end and I got so frustrated that I’m like, well, how can I come in at the front [00:03:00] end now? So I now very much focus on employee experience, customer experience, and those end to end journeys, that would then inform what products that you would pick and how you would go about preparing people to be digitally. 

[00:03:16] David: So that’s interesting because I think what that’s suggesting is the way a lot of organisations approach digital transformation, is it digital and technology first, they tried to get that all sorted and then start thinking about all the other bits, the customers, the people inside the organisation, how the systems are all going to work and that kind of process. So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to have a look at it, in this podcast, we’re going to have a look at what digital transformation is, and what differentiates it from digitalisation, and what’s known as IT enabled transformation. So, we’ve got a couple of research briefings that we did for the members, based on some studies, that we’re going to just kind of talk through, and [00:04:00] the first one is a research briefing that we’d wrote, oh, was it, oh, 2022, yes, which is the briefings called? What exactly is digital transformation and how does it differ from IT enabled organisational transformation and is actually based on a paper by, Wessel etal, Unpacking the difference between digital transformation and IT enabled organisational transformation in the journal of association of information system.

[00:04:25] David: So, very quickly kind of go through this, and then I’m asking Melanie, what your thoughts are about these differences. Basically, what the study was saying was that, IT organisational transformation is the process whereby organisations use kind of emerging digital technologies and things like that to support its existing value proposition and enhance its current organisational identity and the way that it’s working now. The distinction that the paper draws is that, digital transformation is essentially a process whereby an [00:05:00] organisation uses the new emerging digital technologies, not only to redefine its own value propositions and products and services and things, but essentially what it’s doing is it’s redefining its own organisational identity and that’s the process of digital transformation. Hence, the sense of transformation being as part of that process, and that again is seen as different from the whole point, the whole idea of digitalisation, which is largely just bringing in digital equipment and software and things in order to enable people to keep doing the same jobs, but there’s still, there’s no major change in the direction or the identity of the organisation.

[00:05:42] David: So Melanie, what thoughts about this paper? 

[00:05:45] Melanie: Yeah, I really liked the way or before we get into the paper, the thing that really floors me about this is that, having over 4 million peer reviewed research papers on digital transformation since [00:06:00] 2013 alone with almost 30,000 research papers in the first six months of 2020, when that brief, that’s an incredible volume of research. And what, to me, when I see those numbers, it really suggests that we are yet to fully understand this. Not necessarily being a, you know, I’m somebody who really gets into the research, I look at that and I go wowsers that means that we don’t get it, and it means that there’s still a lot of work to do, to be able to really define it. So the paper that we’re talking about now around really being clear around IT enabled and digital transformation was good for me too, because previously I’ve always thought, well, I’ve always said, you know, technology is an enabler, nothing more, nothing less. And what this paper really did was challenged me to say, well, actually IT can be a drive for a change. It can be a driver for an organisation shifting its whole identity to say, [00:07:00] hang on a sec, now that there’s this new technology out there, we could deliver value in a .. In a totally different way that changes who we are as an organisation, not just how we operate. So, that kind of digital transformation definition that it really is about redefining or completely changing the value of not just your proposition, but also your identity, your aims, and your goals is a big one, and then, you know, I’ve heard of digitisation, which is really about, I was speaking to an art gallery the other day, where digitisation for them is really taking what they have in paper and making it a digital product. So, that seems to be reasonably simple, but then when you look at the IT enabled org transformation that reinforcing and supporting of an existing value to enhance the current identity aims and goals is really important. And I think that’s where it can get quite tricky because enhancing doesn’t mean that you don’t change something, [00:08:00] in order to enhance something, this still requires an element of business process change, operating model change in order to get the benefit of being able to adopt new technology. So, I think in terms of junk in junk out, and you could have a fantastic IT product ready to go, but if you’re still feeding it, old data that it can’t understand, or you are feeding in old business processes that aren’t as succinct, aren’t as nice as what they could be. Well, your IT enabled transformation doesn’t really become a transformation, it just becomes a like for like replacement of something that you already have for zero to no benefits. So yeah, these definitions, I think are really important to understand the digital transformation, redefining, changing your value and your identity and goals and aims, and that IT enabled is your [00:09:00] identity, your aims and your goals are the same, but there is an element of change still going to be required in order for you to do that even better than what you do today. 

[00:09:09] David: Yeah. And I think what quite often is labeled as digital transformation is more IT enabled organisational transformation or even just digitalisation, and it’s kind of being mislabeled, but it’s still a significant change process. And it’s not just an organisational change process as a psychologist, you know, it’s a kind of a conceptual change process as well, because we’re having to think differently about how we do things about what we can do. And a lot of these technologies are a real enablers, particularly for, well, for any kind of organisation, but also small organisations, because when you kind of, and I was thinking about this morning, when you kind of think about the resources that organisations have, usually the larger the organisation, the more resources they have internally, there’s a lot more people, departments and all sorts of things. And then as you scale [00:10:00] down, you’ve got smaller organisations and maybe even just a kind of a one person or a two person band, startup or something like that. 

[00:10:07] Melanie: Yep. 

[00:10:08] David: What used to be the case before these technologies came along, was that most of your value came from the resources that you have within the organisation. What these technologies are doing are extending that reach outside of the organisation, and enabling the smaller organisations to play on a little bit more of a level playing field because these technologies can actually really ramp up the kind of reach that they have, the kinds of things that they can do. And that they’re not, they’re no longer, you know, when I started comput.. years ago, you know, the work connected to anything. There were internal resources, but now, because of that connection to cloud-based servers, the whole internet of things and, areas like that. It’s extending those resources right out and the reach right out of the [00:11:00] organisation and it’s, and you have to think about what you’re able to do in a completely different way. And what I find fascinating, especially when I’m talking to business owners, whether they’re large business owners or small business owners, is how that impacts their innovation and the way that they’re thinking about what they can do and it seems to be, and may maybe corrected on this, but it seems to be that the smaller organisations have a greater reach in terms of their imagination.

[00:11:30] Melanie: I think I’ve got a lot of flexibility, because when you’re small, you have to be agile by nature. And when I talk about agile, I don’t talk about it in the tech sense of running scrums and sprints and all this sort of stuff, because when you’re small, that’s just who you are and how you. And certainly with technology and having that extra rage, you are in a position when you can adopt these new technologies much, much faster than if you’re a larger organisation with ingrained [00:12:00] silos, you know, historical, you know, systems that have been built in, and you’ve got all of that complexity that’s been baked in from the ground up, but when you’re smaller, you don’t have that sort of scale. So it’s a lot easier to actually change things, change how you do things in order to adopt technology a lot quicker. So I think it’s really exciting because it also means that any kind of inefficiencies that you have, you can automate a lot faster than if you’re in a large organisation, because you know, un like in large organisations too, where you’ll lift, and then there’ll be a whole stack of cockroaches underneath it, and crawl out from under the rock. You know, we haven’t lifted that rock before and I, wow, you know, like when you shine torches in dark corners, big organisations, you always get more than you bargained for. Whereas when you’re small and you’re nimble, yeah, it still could be a shock, but it’s not so bad and it’s not so complex to have to be agile around or to shift. And certainly you’ve got [00:13:00] less people to influence as well, like you talked about the psychology and the behavior around automation, adopting new technologies really scary because it’s taking away jobs that many people have had for a long period of time and although we say this in the media all the time around future proofing careers and, the rise of AI and what that’s going to mean for the workforce and that, you know, more thought leadership, more knowledge based values based work is going to be required. Exactly what that looks like for people who have been doing very transactional, manually heavy jobs, that’s not clear to them. So one of the biggest challenges that organisations face, particularly, regardless of whether they do, whether that’s a digital transformation, changing their value and their identity, or whether it’s one where they’re reinforcing and support the proposition, the change for people is still quite significant. 

[00:13:56] David: Yeah. I think there’s interest in this, because one of the [00:14:00] things, I think there’s a significant change for people and certainly, and obviously, you know, we’re seeing huge market changes in the job markets, you know, that you kind of look at it for I look at my son sometimes and I think where were all these geeks before computers, but he’s an electronics engineer, he’s at University, but he programs things and I’m watching him well, and so we’re seeing this incredible shift of from traditional type roles within organisations into more tech enabled or tech intensive type roles, but also there’s another thing that’s coming out from an organisational point of view, as well as an individual point of view around learning, and there’s an area of learning called absorptive capacity or organisational absorptive capacity, which talks about.. 

[00:14:42] Melanie: That’s exhausting just in the term itself.

[00:14:44] David: Well, Okay. What absorptive capacity means is the ability of an organisation to learn, to create change, to learn. And what’s interesting, so obviously, you know, as an individual, I’ve got a certain absorptive capacity ability to be able to bring things in [00:15:00] and learn things, but it’s not just the ability to bring things in and learn things, it’s the speed at which you can do that as well. And then the speed at which you can do something with that. So pivot is to, in terms of an organisation or actually move into a new market because there’s a new market opening up because of whatever changes are occurring as well. And the digital transformation is linked very much from an organisational perspective, but also an individual perspective is very much connected to our learning capabilities, both as individual and as organisations. And I think this is part of the issue between the smaller, more nimble organisations, because, you know, it’s easiest to shift to people, they can move in a different direction in a heartbeat, whereas an organisation, it takes longer to reorganise. And, what they call resources adaptability or dynamic resources, is that ability to be able to reconfigure your resources in order to kind of shift in a different [00:16:00] direction. And I think a lot of the issues that organisations face are that are learning issue, at the speed at which the organisation as a whole, as well as individuals within it, because obviously their component parts can actually learn and then engage in some form of change and transformation. I think that’s.. 

[00:16:18] Melanie: Definitely, and I think what we, what I think we’ve done as a society too, is that we’ve focused so much on speed, you know, speed, agility, adaptability. One thing that I think we need to pay more attention to is the ability to also slow down to process. So, because a big part of learning is actually also stepping back and like you said, it’s absorbing it and then going right, how do I now interpret the information that I’ve now got in, to be able to change what I’ve always done? To do something differently in a way that’s going to benefit me. So there’s an element of I’m learning as well, that needs to be taught. And certainly, when it comes to, you know, the other study that [00:17:00] regarding the changes around that, that you’re looking at changing the entire structure and processes of an organisation to achieve transformation. I think that’s probably the most under estimated element of transformation, particularly when people put the word digital next. They think that they’re going to press a button and they’re going to get the demo that they’ve been sold. I know we laugh about it, but seriously, wouldn’t that just be the Nirvana like you, you see as shiny bright sales demo of a product or a service and you go, how cool is that? I’m going to press play and it’s just going to be magic. The reality is a lot of work that’s required for that magic to happen. And the longer your organisation, or has been operating in a particular way, the greater the change that is going to be required to recalibrate re-engineer those processes and what you’re going to feed into this new service or new product so that it does work the way that you expect it to work, but not [00:18:00] just on how it was previously even better because it’s not transformation if it’s something that you already experiencing. And I’ve certainly think that’s the thing that even the study from KRAS, that was really highlights that it really is about changes in your processes, your products, your business operations, your strategy, your models, your leadership practices, your employee, and customer behavior change processes as well. So every time you do some kind of a tech update, upgrade, refresh, there’s governance that’s going to be required for that. The service integration management that’s required, particularly if you’re starting to get cloud technologies in where you have multiple products that you’re introducing to deliver one end to end service, there could be 5, 6, 7, or different technologies into play. And then, you know, your organisational logics and your data that feed all of those, that is actually what transformation is [00:19:00] about, and certainly I think that’s where people tend to underestimate it and then they start talking about, oh, well, you know, like for like, or just your replacement, you go, ah, you shouldn’t have called it a transformation, then you should have just called, a software upgrade of something that you’ve always done. 

[00:19:17] David: To new computers.

[00:19:18] Melanie: So being really clear and setting the expectation that if you’re going to call out that you’re going to do a transformation, you’ve got to be, you’ve got to be prepared to do the work. 

[00:19:28] David: Yeah. And what, we’re talking about something that’s systemic here, systemic change, and there are a lot of moving parts and not only are there a lot of moving parts, virtually all of those moving parts are going to change in a transformation process, particularly a digital transformation process. They’re going to be viewed but differently. They’re going to be used differently. They’re going to be thought of the organisational logics thing. They’re going to be thought of differently. So we have got this whole conceptual change that humans sometimes on that greater, that is also part of [00:20:00] this. I just want to, just before we kind of launch completely into the, so we’ve now kind of moved into another research briefing that we published a little bit earlier this year. And in 20 22, and the research briefings called Trends in digital transformation that organisations are focusing on that, we, as I say, we send out to members in March of 2022, but before I do, I just want to kind of jump back a little bit to what you were saying, in response to the learning thing that I’m saying. And firstly, I want to just agree is, that part of learning is both reflection thinking about the way that we’re thinking about things and that ability, at least of somebody within that process, to be able to step back and watch what’s going on and to think about what’s going on. And that’s important having that bystander approach to noticing things and being able to feed back in, and that’s the role of a lot of people inside an organisation it’s very difficult for them to do. And you know, I read quite a lot of [00:21:00] anthropology and things, and so they’ve got from a research point of view, you know, they talk about outsider insiders. So people who are ethnographers who go into an organisation and both trying to understand it from an internal point of view. So they live within the organisation or the culture, but they’re also trying to look at it from a, and I think the phrase that they use, as if I’m an alien, who’s just landed for about space trying to understand this with note with as few preconceptions as possible. So there’s this reflective part. It’s important to try to see what’s going on. And then the… 

[00:21:33] Melanie: …very core of the system. So, if you think in terms of systems thinking and looking at organisations from an ecosystem perspective, there has to be a part of that looking at it as you know, from an inside outside point of view, because in there, you’re not going to see that the whole, even if you’ve moved around a lot, the more that you’re exposed to the same sorts of things every day, the more you have the blinkers on. So, I definitely [00:22:00] connect with what you’re saying there, and I think that notion of being able to kind of, I guess, helicopter out or even go satellite on it. You know, that whole satellite view of thinking up, thinking down and thinking across is very much about what you’ve spoken about there. And it’s the core of systems thinking when it comes to any kind of transformation. 

[00:22:20] David: And it’s also a role, I’m quite hard on consultants, but it’s also a role that is ideally suited for consultants within organisations because they have that ability. And certainly there’s a brilliant book called anthro vision, if you haven’t read it, you should read it. One of our members Keith Hackett, he recommended to me and I’ve just finished reading, it’s absolutely brilliant and it talks a lot about working as an anthropologist within organisations and the difficulties of doing it, if you’re already a member of the organisation, because there’s a lot of things that you just don’t see anymore. So I think that….

[00:22:53] Melanie: ..got bias too, you’ve got the conscious and the unconscious bias tends to slip in, into that. So I [00:23:00] think there’s a short shelf life for which you can look at something through fresh eyes. 

[00:23:03] David: So I think that’s one part of it. I think the other part of it is reflexivity of what that refers to, which is this with the bias thing is, how are my values or my beliefs impacting the way that I’m perceiving this things. So there’s an internal knowledge that’s important in this process, and I think is important to all change processes. So we’ve got reflective practice, the ability to be able to think about things and kind of go round some form of cycle to be able to stand back and see the bigger picture. And then we’ve got reflexivity, ability to it’s kind of the inner game to understand what’s going on. And then the other thing that I would pick up I’m afraid is the unlearning, I don’t think exists. And the reason, certainly from a psychological point of view, we don’t unlearn things. What we already know is that as an individual, what we tend to do is layer concepts on top of each other, and then some of them become redundant, but they don’t disappear. Now, there is a question though, about [00:24:00] organisations because they’re different that they don’t have like brain whilst they have a network in there, they’re not, it’s not like a memory system that’s encoded within neurons or within pathways within neurons. What we have with organisations are, now there is an argument that if you lose a whole load of people, you’ve lost a whole load of cognitive capacity there. You’ve also lost memory, and this is what a lot of knowledge management’s about. So the reason corporate knowledge, but also, yeah, and some of that know how. So, you know, and I remember, you know, as a police officer years ago, the stories that old police officers would tell you. And I learned an awful lot from those people, but I also noticed that as they disappeared, the knowledge disappeared in that trade craft that they had disappeared, and likewise, when I retired that disappeared after 18 years of service, all of that knowledge that was being applied on a daily basis also disappeared, and then you multiply that across a lot of organisations. So there is an [00:25:00] argument that organisations or whether I would call it unlearning because I don’t think un learning’s a deliberate act, but that there is an argument of about loss of knowledge, and therefore this is a role which we’ll come to in a later podcast I’m sure for, knowledge management within transformational change. 

[00:25:18] Melanie: Oh, it has to be, it absolutely has to be because there has to be a level of understanding around what changes mean, with respect, to what was, and what will be, and really having an understanding of the impacts and the benefits also allows you to determine whether the effort is going to be worth it. You know, every transformation program I’ve ever been on, you’re always paying for the sins of the past, because so many transformation efforts have failed, even if people really want the thing that’s coming or they really want that benefit, there’s always an element of cynicism that comes with it, that goes, oh, really like, we’ve heard that before, or last time we tried that didn’t [00:26:00] kind of work out or we only got 50% or 60% of the benefit that we were promised. And, you know, we had to give up a lot of what we currently do to kind of lean into that new way of thinking, and really, we just ended up with just as much work, if not more work, with little rewards. So, some do it very well, some very successfully, for the most part, I think we all have some kind of a scar or bruise from something where we were told that we would get X, and, you know, in, fact we got F 

[00:26:33] David: Now, that’s interesting, you should say that. We did a research briefing must be a couple of years ago now, that we sent out to members about the, I suppose the motivation of people to engage in change. So change readiness, but also resistance to change, and one of the key factors was history. So, if they’d suffered through a change and it had been a negative, you know, it had been a negative experience, obviously their resistance to change is going to be higher, but what that [00:27:00] study also found is, the massive experience within an organisation predicts how successful the change is likely to be. So that if you’ve got a lot of people who are very scarred by previous change programs, then actually it’s harder to get a successful change event. If you’ve got a lot of people who are more than the opposite. 

[00:27:18] Melanie: Yeah, that’s right. Well, you’re operating off a platform of distrust if you’ve got so much of that. And it’s very hard, very hard to break in that regard, and I mean, that’s where I’m really excited about the series of podcasts that we going to do, because it’s about how do we break that down to create incremental improvements to be able to build trust gradually over time, because transformation is a belief in the thing that you haven’t yet experienced, doing something that you haven’t done before many times over in order to get it. Now, none of that sounds like a lot of fun to me, but it’s doable. So, so yeah, I think recognizing, and really appreciating that if you’re going to call out [00:28:00] transformation and you have an agenda and I’m not saying it in people’s roles, role titles, I don’t know how many role titles now I’m saying with somebody who’s the head of transformation. Know, what that means. Know, what that means, not just for you or for your organisation that fit everybody that’s going to be part of that, because it’s not just about engagement and comms. It’s actually about a lot of heavy lifting and a lot of preparation to roll your sleeves up and keep doing the work. 

[00:28:28] David: Yes. Yeah. And in the next podcast, we’re actually going to be talking about a model you developed around digital transformation, which we’ll come to in the next podcast. I just want to kind of, times kind of go, hadn’t realised what the time was, just finish off with the second research briefing, but on another, you know, you mentioned the 30,000, studies in the first six months of 2020. So I’ve just had a look, it’s May now, we’re at, so we’re just in the first two weeks of May 2022 right, and so far [00:29:00] this year, there’s over 47,000 papers being published that has digital transformation somewhere in them, and roughly roundabout 6,000 of those are peer reviewed to do directly with digital transformation. That’s how much this is growing. It’s astonishing. 

[00:29:18] Melanie: Well, we don’t have a choice. And that’s what it is. It doesn’t you, it, regardless of whether you call yourself a tech person or a business person or whatever person, none of us have a choice, you know, like I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones, you know, winter is coming well, technologies. So yeah, we’ve all got to kind of suck it up and refine ways to adopt it in a way that’s meaningful and adds value for… 

[00:29:40] David: Yeah, and the technology is changing rapidly. And what it can do is changing rapidly, particularly with the advent of things like AI machine learning, and the speed of that change also seems to be increasing. So let’s just have a quick look at the second briefing before we finish around trends in digital transformation that organisations are focusing [00:30:00] on, and I think the first thing, that I found interesting was that it backs up that first research briefing about digital transformation, being a systemic change. And what this paper is talking about is that, digital transformation fundamentally changes just about the entire structure and process of an organisation, including modifications to the processes and products and services, all of the business operations, the business strategy, the business models, the leadership practices and the management practices. And that’s interesting because they have to change as well, and quite often they don’t realise that they’ve got to start seeing things, thinking about things and leading in different ways, the organisational culture, and therefore the identity of the organisation change the change process, themselves have to change and what are known as organisational logics, the way organisations think about things and do things, as well as all of the logistics. And whilst the level of effort is a [00:31:00] lot higher with this organisation, organisations and this is what the 2022 paper, which are referenced in the show notes, shows is that organisations, once they’ve been through the process of digital transformation, tend to enjoy a whole series of benefits, such as increased productivity in sales, a better market fit for their products and services, more innovative forms of value creation, a new ways to establish and maintain customer relationships. So, were there other things in that research briefing that kind of caught your attention, Melanie? 

[00:31:34] Melanie: Yeah. What I’ve, I kind of is high fiving when I read that research brief because it covers it. It covers the full breadth and depth of exactly what’s required in order to achieve transformation and one of the things that I find that is frequently overlooked is the development of effective business models, and the other thing that you mentioned there was value creation. Now, when it comes to [00:32:00] attracting retaining high quality people in order to deliver services, you want to be adding value to them. You know, everybody on the planet who has to work, whether you say that you’re working for money or not, we all want to feel like that when we go to work it’s for, there’s some kind of value that we are able to provide. There’s some kind of thing that we can go home at the end of the day and go, well, that was a good day., I made a difference today. It doesn’t matter how big the difference was, but I made a difference and, you know, I wasn’t just clocking in and clocking out, and you know, it was a hamster in a treadmill. And this sense of value creation is really important because the beauty of technology is that it should be allowing us to do things in a way that’s more effective, more efficient, so that we can then spend time on doing things to add even greater value in other ways. So, that bit I really love. I think we underestimate the importance of value creation. We think in terms of value creation for customers, but when we think in [00:33:00]terms of how we creating value for employees, so that they enjoy their job, they go to work with less frustration, they’re not banging on Ks or swearing at processes that aren’t working because we’ve enabled their job to be easier so that they can deliver more value, that to me is the benefit, the real benefit of technology and the other stuff comes with it. Yeah, yeah, okay, you’ll save money, you’ll make more revenue and you’ll do all that sort of stuff. But then the more we enable people to deliver what they’re supposed to deliver, what they sign up to deliver when they work for a company, the greater the value by default.

[00:33:36] David: I think that’s so important and so interesting. And I think you’re right. I think a lot of people think, like digital transformation and value creation being kind of value creation to the customer, but this idea about creating employee engagement and making jobs more satisfying and interesting, and more stimulating that the technology, if that’s what the individual wants, the technology has the [00:34:00] ability to be able to do that. And I think that interesting, that’s a very wise thing to be thinking about because it gives organisations the opportunity of really bringing in the kinds of people who are motivated by these kinds of things, and, likely to be able to use the technology to become movers and shakers themselves.

[00:34:18] Melanie: Absolutely, employee experience isn’t about giving people extra little bonuses or cool bean bags to sit on or extra breakfast, employee experiences actually making somebody’s job of being an employee really easy and seamless and fun and satisfying, and that is connected to the work that they are signed up.

[00:34:39] David: Yeah. And not easy in the sense of there’s no challenge and boring, we’re talking about here, it helps us to get over a lot of the things that are frustrating, that form of… 

[00:34:50] Melanie: That’s removing blockers and enabling people to deliver with some kind of satisfaction and joy. 

[00:34:56] David: Yeah, brilliant. Fantastic. Right. I’ve really enjoyed this session. [00:35:00] So, in the next podcast, we’re going to be talking about the model that you developed. Can you just give us a very quick, kind of one minute overview as a kind of a taste and then we’ll explore it in full in the next podcast. 

[00:35:12] Melanie: Will do, so, as you know, I’m all about employee experience and I’m all about trust. So the model is trust for transformation. What does that mean? If there are three sides of the triangle, one is making sure that you’ve got leadership at all levels. Another edge of the triangle is about business intelligence, so that you can make really great evidence-based decisions. And then the third part of the triangle is how are you optimising and systemising your performance so that everything runs as seamlessly as possible, so that you can deliver as much value as you can. 

[00:35:46] David: Brilliant. So in the next podcast, we’ll be delving into that. That’s fantastic. Thank you very much, Melanie. I’ve really enjoyed this session and talk in the next session. 

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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