As important as creativity and idea creation are, they require real aspiration to get same to fruition.  A far-reaching vision can be a compelling catalyst, provided it’s realistic enough to stimulate action today.

But in a corporate setting, as many CXOs have discovered, even the most inspiring words often are insufficient, no matter how many times they are repeated. It helps to combine high-level aspirations with estimates of the value that innovation should generate to meet growth objectives. Quantifying an “innovation based target for growth,” and making it an explicit part of future strategic plans, helps solidify the importance of and accountability for innovation. The target itself must be large enough to force everyone to include innovation led transformation in their strategies and drive the next point of inflection for their businesses.

The ability to digitally reimagine the business is key to this transformation and supported by leaders who foster a culture that can is able to change and invent the new or the next normal. Today, risk taking is becoming a cultural norm as more digitally advanced companies seek new levels of competitive or co-opetitive advantage. We also see increasingly employees across all age groups want to work for businesses that are deeply committed to innovation, digital transformation and in the fore-front driving the next points of inflection. This is becoming a key factor in attracting and retaining the best talent.

Key attributes that drive these are,

Digital strategy drives digital maturity – an organization where digital has transformed processes, talent engagement and business models have a clear and coherent digital strategy.

The power of a digital transformation strategy lies in its scope and objectives – Less digitally mature organizations tend to focus on individual technologies and have strategies that are decidedly operational in focus. Digital strategies in the most mature organizations are developed with an eye on transforming the business

Maturing digital organizations build skills to realize the strategy – They are four times more likely to provide employees with needed skills than are organizations at lower ends of the spectrum. The ability to conceptualize how digital technologies can impact the business is a skill lacking in many companies at the early stages of digital maturity

Employees want to work for digital leaders – Across age groups, most want to work for digitally enabled organizations. Employees will be on the lookout for the best digital opportunities, and businesses will have to continually up their digital game to retain and attract them.

Taking risks becomes a cultural norm. – Digitally maturing organizations are more comfortable taking risks than their less digitally mature peers. To make their organizations less risk averse, business leaders have to embrace failure as a prerequisite for success. They must also address the likelihood that employees may be just as risk averse and will need support to become bolder

The digital agenda is led from the top – Maturing organizations are nearly twice as likely as less digitally mature entities to have a single person or group leading the effort. In addition, employees in digitally maturing organizations are highly confident in their leaders’ digital fluency. Digital fluency, however, doesn’t demand mastery of the technologies. Instead, it requires the ability to articulate the value of digital technologies to the organization’s future

To drive such a transformation needs a holistic approach with clear understanding of the context as well as the opportunities and challenges that come along with it. This needs both an inside-out and outside-in thinking with structured interventions such as Design Thinking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Strategy Canvass to align bring together what is desirable from a human point of view; what feasible from technological point of view and what’s viable from an economical point of view to align your aspirations.


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