Competitors can't compete, and leaders can't lead if they don't know the rules of the game. Understanding how points are scored, and what is required to win is key to any competition. In the age of digital transformation these are the key rules to learn:
These rules not only help you understand how to compete and win, but they should also guide enterprises in their development of a digital transformation doctrine.
In a recent survey we conducted with over 2,000 executives in 18 countries, the majority of all survey participants agreed that developing a clear digital transformation strategy is a top priority. Digital transformation strategies, however, grow out of, and are shaped and guided by a digital transformation doctrine (DTD). We define doctrine as a documented way of thinking, a common frame of reference across an organization, which provides an authoritative body of statements on how the business should approach digital transformation. It provides a common lexicon for use and a framework for developing strategies. The DTD is a necessary first step before digital transformation strategies and tactics can be developed and implemented.
Digital technologies do not just enhance and extend existing processes and models, but they open doors to all kinds of new innovations, opportunities, businesses processes, strategies and even new industries. An organization's DTD must be capable of leading them successfully through these massive and accelerating changes.
An organization's DTD should influence all of their strategies, how they operate, and the tactics they employee to compete. In our research, we found most companies recognize digital transformation is happening, but few have a guiding doctrine to lead them on this chaotic journey. Without a DTD, organizations lack a unified understanding of why they are engaged in digital transformation and the role transformation plays in helping them compete successfully.
Executive teams must define how their organization should think about digital transformation. The DTD should be obvious in every program, project, campaign, product and service within the company. A sample of a DTD follows:
The digital transformation of our marketplace is changing the behaviors of our customers and the nature of our competition. We must anticipate and embrace permanent flux by employing digital technologies and strategies, and by creating a digitally agile business and a digitally transformed enterprise. We will achieve information dominance by investing appropriately to develop and maintain an optimized information logistics system. We will restructure our organizations for business agility, speed and real-time decision-making. We will develop a culture that encourages collaboration, innovation and creativity.