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Belinda Gannaway

Digital transformation: 13 key aspects

I recently chaired one of our series of roundtables, this time on the subject of digital transformation. 

The phrase ‘digital transformation’ encapsulates the starting point for a lot of the projects we’re working on right now. And I like the scene-setting Ted Shelton, formerly of PwC, does around it in his new book:

“Digital transformation – the merging of physical and digital into a new reality is happening now, and changing how we work, play and even how we think. Every touchpoint between you and the people and systems you use is being transformed by technology.”

I promise a white paper on the topic very soon – probably around the link between social business and digital transformation – in the meantime, I thought this sketch of the key phrases that stuck out and resonated with the group might be interesting.

Our roundtable was made up of people with responsibility for digital transformation in a range of organisations – from large charities, to government departments and financial services organisations.

Here are the 13 key aspects their conversation touched on:

  1. Culture of digital – when we talk about digital transformation, how much of it is even about technology, and how much is about culture, behaviours and structures?

  2. Silos – how does digital challenge organisational silos and what do we do about it?

  3. People and teams – how do individuals and their teams go on the digital transformation journey?

  4. Storytelling – what are the stories we need to gain currency to bring about change?

  5. Confidence and permission – how do you get it, and where from?

  6. Behaviour change – how does a programme make change real and make real change?

  7. Getting top buy-in – is crucial, but often only words – how do you get them to walk the talk, and do they even need to?

  8. Digital, technology and mobile – the actual technology part of digital transformation

  9. Speed – how do our organisations keep the best of their strengths and still move fast?

  10. Customer-centricity and user experience – perhaps it all comes back to being customer-centric, maybe that’s all that digital transformation is?

  11. Failure – how do you increase tolerance for this internally?

  12. Data, visualization and feedback – how can these be used to drive and reward change?

  13. Revolution or evolution – which is best?

What do you think of this list? What’s missing?

PS. If you’d like to come to one of our future roundtables to share and learn from peers from some of the UK’s most inspiring organisations, do get in touch.

This post was filed under Digital transformation, Technology, The future, Working culture Comments are currently closed.


  1. Nice post Belinda, it was indeed a rich discussion. Thank you for inviting me to represent Melcrum. I think you’ve covered all the themes we touched on bar one – my favourite – which was “How will we know we’ve succeeded (if indeed there is even an “end” to this transformation!) What are those all important KPIs that will help us know we’re headed in the right direction? Of course, these will be different for each organisation depending on its strategic goals – but I wonder if there are a handful of generic KPIs that anyone concerned with digital transformation should be working towards….

    Posted 3rd October 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
  2. Congrtulations on achieving such a distillation of a wide ranging, enthused and emotive conversation. A great debate and plenty of food for thought. Thank you.

    Posted 3rd October 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  3. Cathryn Halton

    One of the most useful things I took away from this discussion was how do we make the digital platfom reflect what is already happening among people in an organisation rather than introducing new structures and rules. The thought I am still exploring is what would a fully-transformed world mean for the future of internal communications…

    Posted 3rd October 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  4. Thank you for your comments – really insightful. Sona, I’ll make sure I look at this in the white paper. Cathryn, yes, I agree, creating tools and platforms that work with the prevailing culture rather than against it are always going to have better adoption and impact.

    Posted 4th October 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink