Why Digital Transformations Fail — The Tony Saldanha Interview

What I learned over that experience was that failure was seldom because of the technology, but because of change management and how organizations go about rewiring themselves.

Google X thinks of transformation as being more about discipline and sorting through lots of possibilities until you find genuinely viable ideas. That discipline of looking at opportunities holistically, not just as technology, but as change management, and then being extremely disciplined in the execution of both the technical aspect and the financial aspect is what sets them apart.

Perhaps the way to look at it is that change management or culture is absolutely critical at any stage, but I think the stakes become exponentially higher the closer you get to stage five.

The hard work is about helping people understand that real transformation is, first and foremost, about culture and then everything else is really about the technology.

That’s not to say that large companies don’t fall into the classic competency trap and fail to watch their blind spots. Andy Grove of Intel famously said that only the paranoid survive. He was right.

The other element I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is this idea of organizational “fear” or the fear of change that seems to grip so many organizations and so many leaders. And it really is critical to teach leaders to address it right up front.



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Hilton Barbour

Hilton Barbour

Networker. Marketing Provocateur. Loves travelling - love my 2 daughters more. Perpetually curious.