Transformation Strategies only work when you don’t shelve them

Alistair Sergeant
Alistair Sergeant

Senior business leaders often have a clear vision as to how they want their digital transformation strategy to work, but often fail in getting it past its infancy.

A common fear is that leaders are scared to back a project that isn’t immediately performing and they don’t want to appear as if they’ve chosen a wrong path for their business.

However, being quick to pull the plug on a strategy that isn’t showing immediate results, is not only detrimental to the strategy in hand, but to the overall progression of a business.

As with any meaningful and long-term change, effective digital transformation should be seen as a marathon, not a sprint.

Be patient with your Strategy

Real change can only happen when leaders commit to implementing a strategy for transformation.

It will evidently take time for a business to make their distinctive mark and leaders need to understand that patience is a virtue in these types of situations.

They must be the ones to champion the transformation initiatives and build confidence in the team to ensure everyone is united in the same vision.

There will undoubtedly be unexpected bumps in the roads towards a successful transformation and certain executives may call for a return to older and more familiar methods that are more to their liking, but instead of giving up, a leader must resist shelving their idea for a small and short term gain.

Be prepared for a cultural shift

An effective digital transformation strategy needs to make room for cultural shift.

As leaders put their strategy together, it is important for them to design every move so that it resonates with customers, employees, investors, regulators, and other stakeholders in the business.

Shelving a strategy before it has had time to resonate with all participants is a huge mistake.

People can shift even their most fundamental attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours if they recognize the value of doing so and are given the opportunity to develop their skills.

If people see a reason for hope with the changes that the transformation strategy creates, they will invest time and effort in helping build a new identity for the business.

Don’t lose focus in your execution

Once a leader has all executives and employees on board with their idea of reinvention, it is critical to keep them focused on the journey by setting concrete and visible goals.

It can admittedly be difficult to sustain the heightened levels of energy and focus needed throughout a detailed digital transformation, so setting plenty of achievable goals is a good way of keeping morale high.

When the day to day grind of running a business begins to take over, old habits may start to re-emerge and the priority of putting in place a more engaging and fluid way of working may be put to the wayside.

It is a leaders duty to showcase the priority of staying focused on the transformation strategy and to not shelve them midway through execution.


“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Thomas A Edison

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More about the author

Alistair Sergeant
Alistair Sergeant CEO

As CEO of Equantiis, his main focus is on strategic leadership and growth within the business whilst working through new opportunities that support this. Alistair manages client relationships so that they can benefit from his experience and knowledge. He thrives on leading a disruptive business that works with business leaders to identify and overcome complex business challenges, with cost certainty and transformative outcomes. Alistair is passionate about anything outdoors. Including running, camping and travelling with the family.

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