Digitization: Do you have a horse without a rider?

Digitization: Do you have a horse without a rider?

Do you know what I keep seeing? When it comes to digital transformations, there is a very strong focus on the technology and the business model. I regularly observe how wonderful strategies are developed on PowerPoint and created in grandiose roadmaps with secured refinancing after 3 to 5 years. Business plans are then drawn up, spent months formulating them, and chased through various committees until the necessary approvals are obtained from the executive level via the board of directors. If you are involved in digital business, these scenarios will certainly look familiar to you.

If you are lucky, it will be considered in time that every steed needs a rider. Necessary personnel changes are present, approved by all parties and deemed feasible. But has there been a proper discussion about what new personnel are needed? Besides technology and business model, have you thought about how you can develop your organization to make your project a success? What can you do to ensure that exactly the assumptions you decided on the strategic playing field come true? Surprisingly and frighteningly enough, many companies do not talk about this topic at all or not enough.

Projects stand and fall with the people. Why should it be any different with digitalisation?

Their most important success factor during digitisation is and will remain the people who work on it and bring the necessary expertise and social skills with them. Constant growth and increasing complexity in projects and requirements demand that we deal with all parties with confidence, and that we keep up with colleagues and stakeholders without losing them along the way. Sometimes a radical approach is needed, but even then it should be chosen with tact and sensitivity.

3-mistakes, which I experience again and again

1st mistake: horse without rider

The project is started with the assumption that it will work somehow. I hear: “Until we find the right people for the job, we cannot wait. We have to start now, so we don’t lose touch.” It is precisely this actionism that sooner or later leads to failure. Of course you should not put off change. No, not at all! It makes sense to get started as quickly as possible, to gather your first experiences and draw conclusions from them. But it should be clear who owns the company, with whom you are implementing which projects and how you can recruit the personnel to have the right riders in the team.

2nd mistake: horse with wrong rider (character)

Lifting someone into the saddle to fill the post is not a solution. This forward-looking task requires special personalities with certain abilities. These must be carefully selected so that the new players can enrich the team and master the tasks ahead. It makes no sense for you to have only people of a certain calibre in your team. This means that innovative strength is lost and the perspective to be adopted remains the same. Innovations, fresh approaches and new perspectives for the organization are missing. It is essential for success to unite different characters and types of people in order to be successful.

3rd mistake The horse with the wrong rider (qualification)

Would you like to find an expert who has exactly the skills you need to develop as a company for your customers and for the market? If the answer to this question is yes, it is natural for you to entrust the search to professional hands. After all, you don’t let a rabbit breeder choose your race horse. You get convincing specialists for the task. The same applies to recruiting.

My advice:

Assign someone who knows your business and the challenges of digitization, ideally has lived through it himself, has defined processes himself. Choose a partner who is able to define the profile you are looking for together with you and then fill it correctly so that the desired success is achieved. Don’t just bet on the right horse, but above all bet on the right rider