Decoding the Digirati: Success factors behind leadership in Digital Transformation

5. Model for Digital Transformations – Evolve and Sustain

In the final edition on the Model for Digital Transformation we explore the three pillars behind Digital Transformation Evolution and Maintenance, which form the final set of the set of 9 hidden practices at which digital leaders excel.

Talent-Manage the Digital Skills Mix

It goes without saying that you need to place value on digital skills right through the organisation, leadership included. Who is already a digital aficionado? Where do you need to invest in new hires to plug a current or anticipated skills deficit? Where should you partner with external specialists? The goal here is not to turn everyone in your business into a technology or social media guru, but to recognise the blend of capabilities (being the sum of knowledge, skills and experience) that will be pivotal to the transformation. Of course you cannot build new skills and experience overnight, so it’s a good idea to develop a talent roadmap that aligns to your digital programme plan, signposting the ‘pinch-points’ where available digital skills may be too scarce to execute the transformation.

Incentivise an E-Culture Shift

Getting your incentive and reward structures right is a key element in sustaining the transformation and ensuring its success is not dependent on a kernel of just a few key individuals. There are some tried and tested approaches which are outlined in the table below.


Some clients we have worked with have gone further still, incentivising their customers to advocate on their behalf through ‘Likes’ or online reviews and endorsements. Be creative in the mechanisms you choose and think about what really motivates your customers and your people.

Sustain and Embed New Digital Habits

Every digital change seems to begin with an inner core of highly capable, respected practitioners who ‘just get it’ – embodying desired behaviours in their everyday interactions with customers and colleagues alike. Identify and recognise these local digital champions. Find ways to encourage wider take-up of their best practices. For example, we have seen digital and ‘E-comms’ tools employed very successfully to support programme delivery – from adoption of collaboration wikis across dispersed global teams, to use of apps such as Yammer and Trello to post live meeting updates and actions. The result is increased efficiency as well as better connected teams.

Digital transformation is not a ‘big bang’ event. It is iterative, evolutionary and pain-staking. In this context, the end goal of your digital programme is as much about transforming the culture of your organisation as achieving a winning market position. Indeed, arguably this is the bigger prize: instilling behaviours of collaboration and continuous improvement into the ‘new’ DNA of your business, so that you can exploit future technology innovations as well as current digital trends.


Our client, a London housing partnership, took an early strategic decision on their digital transformation journey to help their employees move to a digital service delivery model. Through a series of technology pilot initiatives, they created an environment in which employees felt they could ‘stretch their creative wings’ and devise digital engagement campaigns rooted in service excellence and value for customers. Creative forums such as ‘Social Storming’ and ‘Twitter Tuesdays’ enthused staff to get involved, develop their digital capabilities, and evolve their digital engagement at a pace that suited both the organisation and their customers.

By making digital engagement a core part of their organisational culture, our client is now setting the bar for customer engagement not only within their sector, but also in comparison to major UK retailers, receiving recognition as a UK leaders in Digital Service Excellence.

In the next update we explore the final topic in the Gate One Digital Transformation Model in “From Dinosaur to Digirati“.



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