Digitally transforming organizations are three times more resilient to failure than others

Michael Gale / Posted On: 28 October 2021 / Updated On: 28 November 2022 / International Thought Leaders / 185

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Digitally transforming organizations are three times more resilient to failure than others



LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s gave some warning to the graduating class of Wharton about the incredibly bold decisions they are going to have to make as a generation. Build a better world for those less blessed than you or it is going to all breakdown.

 

As a boomer (I was born in 192( Weiner's comments were a brutal truth to my generation that in many ways has only (up to date) really focused on themselves. I hope the next generation gets this idea of making the world a better place, far better than we have so far.

 

Think about Weiner’s speech in the context of a recent conversation between Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, and the CEO of Axel Springer. In this discussion, Bezos puts forth the very bold idea that space exploration can save mankind because the earth cannot accommodate the enormity of mankind's needs. He quips that mankind living in space could produce a million Einsteins.

 

“Now take the scenario, where you move out into the Solar System. The Solar System can easily support a trillion humans. And if we had a trillion humans, we would have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts and unlimited (for all practical purposes) resources and solar power unlimited for all practical purposes. That’s the world that I want my great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren to live in.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO on how his space company will save civilization.

 

Bezos’ thoughts are all giant leap statements. And while you might not be the CEO of LinkedIn or the wealthiest man in the world, you can play a part in this process sparked by massive societal-wide digital transformation.


Digital transformation has allowed all of us to envision new possibilities, not just in changes in how we transact with customers but a much deeper ability to make transformative changes if we take the right bold moves.

 

Working with Forbes Insights, we at Inc. Digital researched global 5000 enterprises to create an empirical model (65+ variables) designed to define what successful digital transformations look like at those that are thriving with their efforts. This research considered a whole range of digitally transformed metrics (economic, brand and culture, processes, and growth engines) as well as how to build prescriptive pathways to success so take your organization to the promised land of deep digital transformation.

 

More importantly, it gives us clues to what these true bold moves should be so that we are not just talking the game (rather like the Boomer generation) but actually doing it in the right ways.

 

The Engine of Growth Is Right In Front Of Your Eyes, But 84% Of Us Miss It

No CEO would ever say they did not want to be a high-growth leader in their segment. Yet, only 26% of major US corporations experienced exceptionally high growth last year. But, at a deeper level, life inside a high-growth corporation is clearly far more interesting than life inside a low-growth corporation. If you need proof, just look at comments on Glassdoor to see what employees say about life in both types of organizations.

 

But of all the variables that could define the reasons why or how these corporations got these levels of growth, there is one common denominator for 91.25% of corporations achieved high growth in 2017. These leaders were very focused on developing a deep commitment to digitally transforming their corporations. It is this commitment that separates them and also drives their success as well as their growth.

 

If you want to change your organization’s digital fortunes, imagine walking into a strategy meeting with the slide below. 

 

Achieving high growth inforgraphic

 

This is the dynamic power of successful digital transformation and it is already well understood by 23.9% of all major US corporations. Are you one of them? Or, are you one of the others that are digitally wrapping and not committing to transforming the core or DNA of your organization to achieve high growth?

 

To help you move into the high growth category, here are some of the secrets of those leaning into deep and meaningful digital transformations from our research.

 

Skills development is really different for digital success

Take one of the most intensive human IP businesses out there in the US, consulting and professional services. These organizations are the backbone service companies we hope will guide us through our digital transformations. Surely, they are getting skills development right? The short answer is hell no. 

 

Below you will see the allocation of budget to key areas in skill development including, mindset, technical, digital, new ideas, and management. Organizations that are thriving with digital transformation and achieving high growth think and invest very differently in people than others. Consulting firms struggling to successfully digitally transform invest nearly half their training money in trying to develop skills to help people think up new ideas. You can’t buy success like this for yourself or your clients. It is an example of old-world thinking in a new world paradigm. In the new digitally transformed world nearly anything (the esoteric) as Michael Schrage (MIT Media Labs) told us was possible. So the ideas are often not the issue. The design and new forms of working together are the keys.

 

Mindset and technical skills all win out in the most digitally transforming consulting companies because they understand what the new skill requirements are for success (for themselves and clients). More than just our research shows this. In fact, two recent job reports on newly graduating Americans point to the same types of shifts including a very interesting analysis in the Washington Post.

 

Now ask yourself about which type of firm you would want to work with your corporation to drive your successful digital transformation?

 
Digitally thriving companies

 

Get Used To Failing And Enjoy It By Letting Go Of The Anxiety

Consumer product companies are in many ways at the very tip of the digital transformation spear. In a world where the consumer can pretty much get whatever they want, when and how they want it, most consumer brands have embraced the idea that they need to reinvent, re-package and change their development and experimentation processes to survive, let alone thrive in a digitally transforming world. So how do the most digitally successful differ in how they handle the inevitable high volumes of failures they are going to face?

 

" By a ratio of 3.6 to 1, highly digitally transformed consumer product companies are able to handle failures and not retreat compared to substantially less digitally transformed corporations. That is a powerful ability to have in your Digital DNA in a world that is constantly changing. As products, services and opportunities can come from anywhere, the need for experimentation and staying the course will be even more of a requirement for success. " Michael Gale - Inc.Digital

 

Imagine if you could build an environment that is battle-hardened through constructive failures to be 360% more likely to succeed than your competitors. Our research shows empirically that digitally transforming in the right way builds this ability.

 

Invest In The Right Job Titles as it Seems to Make All the Difference (employer and potential employee)

Yes, that is right. Job titles can be powerful indicators of success within your organization. If you think about it, the idea of hiring certain people with certain skills truly exemplifies your Digital DNA. If you don’t think about the need or the skill, you miss the big picture needed to transform and grow. For example, a chief human development officer implies a level of care (budget, role) about how the organization is going to develop for success. To put a finer point on it, our research helped us develop an algorithm that measures the implied probability of an organization being successful with digital transformation based on specific job titles. For example, it shows that major tech or telecommunications companies with the right job titles are 91.25% more likely to also be a high-growth corporation. Again, it is not just adding certain job titles. It is the act of putting your digital plan into action that shows the need for certain positions and skills to be successful. Look at the infographic below to get a better sense of what this means.

 

US tech companies inforgraphic

 

This shows the power of seeing how to navigate your digital future and then lean into what is recurred to succeed. When you do this, you see job titles, steering committees, personal development models, and even significantly different tolerances and ways to access and handle risk are critical.

 

Growth and change are two indicators of societal and organizational success. The facts in this research partnerships with Forbes insights illustrate that to get both (skills for employees and performance for stockholders) you need to focus on digitally transforming in a deep and meaningful way.

 

Bold moves do not just mean giant leaps, but often involve looking at the opportunities and how to solve for them in new ways or with a new eye for details like skills or job titles or even who you partner with for success.

 

You should feel confident in these empirically proven facts as being the leading indicators of how you can change the world’s around you.  

 

The post "Digitally transforming organizations are three times more resilient to failure than others." was first published by Michael Gale here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/want-go-stars-change-world-around-you-bold-right-ways-michael-gale/

 

About Michael Gale

Chief Marketing Officer at Wind River. Forbes host of Futures in Focus podcast, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Thinkers 360 global top 10 AI influencer.


Michael Gale
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