Digital Transformation - What's love got to do with it


“What's love got to do, got to do with it
What's love but a second hand emotion
What's love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken.”

Technology without heart is destructive

 Sorry, I’m not talking about emotions here. This section talks about the heart of your business. The heart has to pump to make the whole system work. And at the heart of your business is money. That’s how each company functions, that’s why each company changes, why they digitally transform. You need to make money in order to invest and keep the heart pumping.

Interestingly, while many companies talk about digital transformation, hire expensive consultants, develop Digital Transformation project plans, they often don’t talk about money. They talk about costs and shake their heads, but they don’t talk about profits they expect from all these initiatives.

Why do businesses engage in Digital Transformation? They want to stay relevant, catch a lucky break, open new markets, make money.

That’s why it’s so important to ask constantly one question: Will this make me money? Will this Digital Transformation project make me more relevant, but will I still be behind my competitors and lose money? Will this marketing campaign make me money? Will this major implementation deliver profit?

If the answer is no, then you fell for heartless technology. The reason for all this work is making money. Keep the engine going. If you’re just playing defense in your Digital Transformation strategy, you will fail. Maybe slower than doing nothing, but you will fail.

Why are there so many heartless projects out there? Easy, they are typically the ones that don’t disrupt much, encounter almost no resistance and cause just minor fear of change.

The unloved Digital Transformation

I'm not in love
So don't forget it
It's just a silly phase I'm going through
And just because I call you up
Don't get me wrong, don't think you've got it made
I'm not in love
I'm not in love

Bad digital transformations are like bad marriages. The couple knows it needs to change, it does the minimum, heads to a therapist, goes on a romantic vacation. But it never has the tough conversation. Many tough conversations.

If you really want to integrate digital technologies into your enterprise, if you want to become a platform business, even an ecosystem – you need talk about everything: Politics, structures, emotional challenges, internal deficiencies, talent, lack of talent, budget, money and appetite for risk. How much risk is everyone willing to take, how much fight is left in everybody? And because nobody has these conversations, these deeply emotional exchanges that could make a Digital Transformation a labor of love, that’s why most of these initiatives are plain mediocrity celebrated, hedged by the executives, a good PR event. And handed over to the team. Another thing to deal with, another thing to schedule meetings around, designed to limit damage, never intended to be a change maker. Just another thing going nowhere.

The power of love

“We're heading for something
Somewhere I've never been
Sometimes I am frightened
But I'm ready to learn
Of the power of love”

Corporate discussions are driven by intellect, insights and spreadsheets. There’s no space reserved for emotions. What’s needed is a deep conversation about the heart of the company, the heart of each executive and to explore the heart of each stakeholder. If you don’t tap into emotions, you will continue to start projects that nobody cares about, that nobody loses sleep over, that nobody is willing to fight for, no matter what. There are projects and commitments everybody loves and feels connected emotionally, those are the projects that will be successful, that will make it to the finish line. The passion projects. The purpose-driven ones. And there’s the rest. The mediocre app that will do. The digital project that doesn’t break anything because it’s on the road to nowhere.

That’s corporate life, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, it often is. It’s slow death. Filled with corporate PR, tranquillizing meetings and thousand small disappointments.

Because your heart is not in it 100%, because there’s nobody there to stand up to fight for what they believe in, the company becomes irrelevant in a slow and expensive way. That’s why Digital Transformation is all about love. And your heart.

“How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?”