Digital Transformation (DX) has been around for over 20 years but has never been in the spotlight as it has during the global pandemic.
McKinsey has dubbed it “the great acceleration,” while Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claimed the company had experienced “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
And while for a long time, employees saw DX as purely the “march of the robots,” today’s more progressive companies use global initiatives to develop their best talent, not just replace it.
In his new book, Futureproof, New York Times technology correspondent Kevin Roose explains the route forward for a new generation of employees: “the key to living a happy, rewarding life in the age of AI and automation is not competing with machines head-on — learning to code, optimizing your life, eliminating all forms of personal efficiency and waste — but strengthening your uniquely human skills, so you’re better equipped to do the things machine can’t do.”
Ironically, it is these human skills that are also at the heart of successful DX deployments: “business is about relationships, making digital transformation a human endeavor,” says Brian Solis, Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, “digital transformation placed too great an emphasis on ‘digital’ and not enough on people and purpose. To make digital transformation effective and successful, it must evolve through relationship transformation and center on escalating human-connections through digital.”
The experience of those who have led DX initiatives supports this human-first approach to DX. In 2017, Harvard Business Review listed the challenges companies face when undergoing DX projects, based on a survey of senior executives. Six of the top ten are people-related.
DX projects fail mainly because of so-called “soft skills,” like inclusiveness, communication, cultural understanding, and upskilling, which means that Learning & Development (L&D) has a leading role to play in the process.
L&D professionals at companies like Salesforce are working with Learnship to help their DX teams overcome the communications barriers and cultural friction that all major global initiatives face.
Learn how Salesforce worked with Learnship to improve cross-cultural communication.