22 Jan

Leading Digital Transformation (Step 4) Communicate and Enlist volunteers

“Change happens when it is done by the people and not to the people!”

 communicate vision to enlist volunteers

Enlist Volunteers

In step 2 we talked about building a guiding coalition. Now is the time to take participation in Digital Transformation to new levels by enlisting volunteers. It is just like software moving from Alpha to a beta stage. The intent is to have more adopters who can participate, provide live feedback and become the change agents.

Raise a bigger force of people who are ready, willing and urgent to drive the Digital Transformation change. The other intent of this step is to make more co-authors of this Digital Transformation change. As more people will get engaged in the earlier stage hence they will become the true carriers of the vision and message. In order to expand use the power of communication.

Communicate Vision

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. -George Bernard Shaw

Communication seems to work best when it is direct and simple. Simple communication only comes through great clarity of thought plus courage to keep it simple. Even when this is a Digital Transformation All jargon and technical language must be avoided at any cost while you communicate vision.

Tip: If you are originally from technology background like me, this may be an area of improvement.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Well chosen words can make it memorable, even if it has to compete with hundreds of other communications for people’s attention. Always remember logic makes us think, emotion drives us to act. Emotion can also come from analogies, stories, or concrete examples that illustrate what success looks like while you communicate vision.

I am guilty of over communicating the technology infrastructure we plan to bring and invest into. Every time I did that I have seen faces in the room who leave without getting the vision of Digital Transformation.

Tip: Communicate vision in terms of business benefits and that too in a simple language that even a grandmother can understand. Analogy and examples are a great tool for that.

Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. -Orson Scott Card

We should use all the vehicles available to communicate vision. The message should come from all different channels. Big meetings and small, memos and newsletters, formal and by the coffee machine interaction – all are effective for spreading the message. We should continue to do this repeatedly as ideas sink in deeply only after they have been heard many times. If you are a marketer, you very well understand how many impressions lead to conversion. It hardly happens with just one impression!

You and other key players should live the vision in real time. Everything that is being done by the key team should be aligned to the vision and strategy for the Digital Transformation. Even repeated attempts to communicate vision cannot help if you and your key team are not acting as per the vision and strategy. If there are any inconsistencies, those should be addressed immediately and communicated.

“Swallow your pride and always be ready to accept that you may not be right” – Your Truly

As Digital Transformation lead, I have sometimes avoided two-way communication as I was afraid of a stakeholder not adopting my vision. Over these years I have learned that two-way communication is always more powerful than one-way communication. Two-way communication may suggest sometimes that we are on the wrong course and that vision needs to be revisited. Swallowing our pride and reworking the vision or strategy is far more productive that heading off in the wrong direction or with a wrong strategy for Digital Transformation.

The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.- J. B. Priestley

Previous Articles:

8 steps to digital transformation 

Leading Digital Transformation (Step 1) Creating Sense of Urgency 

Leading Digital Transformation (Step 2) Build a Guiding Coalition 

Leading Digital Transformation (Step 3) Develop Vision & Strategy