Technology Partnerships – Navigating Digital Transformation Without Opening Pandora’s Box

In our recent coverage of eWorld last month, we mentioned that during the Coact Consulting Group's presentation we did not get time to cover the Integrated Governance Framework approach part of the conversation, and that hopefully Bastiaan would follow up with a post on that separately. So we are delighted to say that he has done so, and here it is.

So where were we again, Chief Transformation Officer, Chief Procurement Officer or Chief Digital Officer? Let’s pick up on Spend Matters blog post covering Coact Consulting Group’s insight seminar at eWorld focused on ‘How Business Can Find Technology To Innovate Their Business Models’.

Selecting the right technology partner really does go further than just picking a great solution ‘off the shelf’, digital transformation is essentially all about leveraging an organisation’s know-how, experience and vision to work with strategic partners to help integrate new technologies to fit the organisation in a seamless fashion.

Vast amounts of trust is embedded into technology to ‘do the right thing’ as it knows no boundaries, filters or biases, however, digital transformation can represent a real life Pandora’s box for existing businesses if not managed properly.

Besides working with the seminar participants to create a recipe comprising 12 principles to guide transformation, the group also touched on how to establish an effective Integrated Governance Framework to unlock creativity, encourage collaboration and stimulate innovation without giving up control. Please find insight seminar slides enclosed here.

Each organisation faces different challenges, therefore the target of the session was to encourage every participant to actively share their views, contribute and therefore experience for themselves what makes business transformation a success.

Terminology may differ across industries, sectors or countries but there were clear parallels between the various ideas raised by each table comprising a diverse mix of multinational companies.

If the 12 guiding principles need to be ranked, the following fundamentals would feature in the top 3:

  • Human Energy * New Technology = Corporate Development

This equation illustrates the Yin-Yang principle that collaborative efforts combined with disruptive technologies leads to sustainable progress. The ‘Power of Two’ effectively balances human as well as artificial intelligence to propel an enterprise forward without one dominating the other. This is further illustrated by Polanyi’s paradox which says that we know more than we can tell i.e many tasks rely on tacit, intuitive knowledge that is difficult to codify. Business transformation is only as successful as people would like it to be

  • Vision already exists

The vision already exists within an enterprise, it is just not very evenly distributed. If 100 people perform similar tasks across the globe, a combination of 2-3 people would have figured out ‘the path of least resistance’ on a day-to-day basis. The key is to locate these ‘buddhas’ who know the company’s culture, how things work and operate to subsequently highlight, implement and scale their knowledge.  Creativity knows no boundaries.

  • Wikipedia effect

The story of a successful transformation is largely written by the enterprises themselves yet an external pivot is required to make the vision a reality. An environment of trust is paramount to trigger a Wikipedia-type effect with a combination of large quantity, high quality and less frequent contributors to drive consensus forward. An excellent idea can pop up similar to a sub-marine surfacing in a vast ocean which is often small, brief and disguised before diving back under again. This means collective efforts are essential to spot these ideas, encourage collaborative efforts in the open and co-create practical solutions to deliver.

A simple recipe on paper but not easy to execute in practice. It takes 10,000hrs of practice to master a skill which implies steep learning curves, trial and error, operating out of comfort zones and time.

These 12 guiding principles harnessed by an integrated governance framework do, however, provide a foundation to increase the chances of a successful transformation.

Integrated governance frameworks optimise practitioner knowledge, information usage and decision making to deliver on mission-critical initiatives efficiently, within budget and on time to produce output which is innovative, sustainable and scalable.

Irrespective of where a company is on their transformation journey, an integrated governance structure from the top down and back up again enables an enterprise to consolidate scatterings of ongoing work to get a clearer picture of the state of play to subsequently guide the organisation to become a smart enterprise to stay in tune with their operating environment.

A chief transformation officer, enterprise leader or innovation broker with the ability, experience and know-how to speak the language of technology, business, data and community is an essential ingredient to C.O.A.S.T. transformation.

Board sponsorship is a must but the ability to operate between the lines to cultivate professional relationships, establish strategic partners and get everyone on the same page represents a significant commercial value proposition.

Let’s navigate digital transformation without opening Pandora’s box.

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