The Digital Transformation: Are You a Driver or a Follower?
If you were there in the audience at TAL 2020, Filip Dřímalka may have piqued your curiosity right as it began. If you weren’t there, here’s a summary of all his key points, as well as some tips on what to do to stay a true driver of the digital transformation.
With technologies becoming cheaper, faster, and smaller, they are also becoming more accessible. But does that mean they’re making us more efficient? Filip Dřímalka says that quite the opposite is true – at least until we learn to use them right. “What we’re experiencing today is not a digital revolution; we’re actually experiencing the slowest productivity growth in the last 120 years.” But why is that so?
Generally, the fault for digitalisation’s failure lies with us
Why do digitalisation projects so often fail, going over their budgets and deadlines and giving less real benefit than we imagined? To find the common denominator for the reasons Dřímalka mentioned, we will have to bitterly admit that they lie in us – in people. Judge for yourself:
- We never have time – and even less so in logistics.
- We don’t see eye to eye with technology.
- We don’t see IT’s burdens if we’re not in IT.
- Decisions come from the “HIPPO in the room” – the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. If they don’t trust technologies, don’t want to invest in them or don’t want to experiment and would rather see everything supported down to the last detail, you won’t be launching many new projects.
- The average age for the members of boards of directors in the S&P 500 is 63.5 years old. And these are precisely the people who decide how our companies’ technologies will look in five or ten years.
"The key is to develop and educate people, that is, competent people, at every level."
How can you make your digitalisation a success story?
“The key is to develop and educate people, that is, competent people, at every level,” Dřímalka states. In his view, the drivers of a digital transformation are people and what they can do with technologies – not the technologies themselves. However, three lanes of development need to be merged:
- digital skills,
- innovation skills,
Merging these areas produces a “T-Shaped Worker” who possesses both a specialisation in their field (hard skills) and soft skills; one able to handle technologies and come up with ideas and innovations; one also able to lead a project and bring things to the finish line.
T-Shaped Worker. Source: Filip Dřímalka.
So to turn your digitalisation into a true success, ask yourself the right questions:
- How can you inspire and educate your team and yourself?
- Do you have the time and space to experiment? If not, how will you create them?
- How can you support innovation?
"You just have to be around innovators, and soon you’ll be innovators too."
Filip Dřímalka gave TAL 2020’s audience one piece of advice on how to start: “Try changing how you think. The way things work today is that you can’t just wait for technology companies to come to you; you have to invite them over, talk to them, cooperate with them. I believe the digital transformation is about partnership. You just have to be around innovators, and soon you’ll be innovators too.”
And what about you? Are you more of a follower, last in line for new technologies, or are you a driver who’s pushing your company’s digital transformation ahead?
Filip Dřímalka is the CEO of Digiskills.cz and is an author and expert on organisations’ digital transformations. He teaches people and organisations how to work with the latest technologies and inspires them to integrate these into everyday life. In 2020, he plans to publish a book called HOT Připraveni na budoucnost (“HOT Ready for the Future”), and you can hear him regularly on the HOTCAST podcast. For more info on Filip Dřímalka, visit drimalka.com.