Pitching digital transformation to the board is easy, but the real battle is to get them aligned with digital transformation efforts.
Long-term innovation is one of the critical factors that lead to a successful digital transformation. The majority of the digital transformation initiatives, irrespective of the scale will always be more complicated than expected. Continuous feedback on digital transformation initiatives along with transparency, support as well as direction can help C-suite executives get the company board of directors aligned with digital transformation plans.
- Build a team of advocates
It is essential to build a team of a few advocates to help get buy-in for a digital transformation project from leadership stakeholders. It is important to understand the unique perspectives of board members, their plans for the business and their long term company goals because that will help executives to place the vision of the future in context with the plans for transformation. They can also cultivate the support of board members by seeking their input on further development and action plan.
C-level executives should look out for board members with different backgrounds and perspectives. This will help in understanding and garnering multiple views from stakeholders regarding the project. Executives can use the feedback and opinions from various stakeholders to build a project road map.
- Create a roadmap and take measures to follow it
The project road map must disclose anticipated challenges if any, or areas that are likely to fail to help the board understand progress and expect a particular type of setback. Setbacks and delays are inevitable in the journey of digital transformation; it is not wise to assume that every aspect of change will be without flaws.
- Provide the board with key learnings about digital transformation efforts
Along with sharing the project roadmap, it is essential to prepare the board for the project by providing it with enough as is data before starting the roadmap discussion. The data should give the board a clear picture regarding previous digital transformation efforts, the plans, what worked and what didn’t. In fact, the analysis of failure is critical since it will be a crucial tool in the success of the attempt. Being transparent with the board is essential to scale the project.
- Facing setbacks is normal
It is essential to understand that facing setbacks during the digital transformation journey is normal. Accept failures and use them as an opportunity to evaluate. Acknowledging failure at the right time is also equally important. It is better to abort the project at an early stage if it is not working rather than pumping more investment in it without having a basic state of preparedness.
It is not easy for companies to implement digital transformation if the board looks for quick and tangible returns. It is equally if not more important, to ensure the change management needed for a successful digital transformation is companywide since it will impact each and every aspect of the business. Organizational preparedness is extremely critical, and that needs to be spearheaded by the Board, even before the C suite starts the journey.