Digital Transformation –
How Change Happens…

How change happens - Good to great!

By Eric Schmidt

At OneDayOne, we love the portion of Good to Great below. So many people want to talk about ‘transformations’ and set up massive ‘projects’ to transform their businesses. We have heard plenty of stories of projects being written off and huge disappointments from engagements that never delivered the results you desired. In our experience the results come from a continuous commitment to improving your business. It’s your mindset, approach—working in an agile, iterative, and build-measure-learn way—and people that really make it happen.

We recently read a good blog post too, by Apigee, found here, that brings up a similar sentiment:

"Businesses do not transform from one thing into another; they continually adapt. Digital transformation is about evolution and adaptation."

From Good to Great by Jim Collins:

In each of these dramatic, remarkable, good-to-great corporate transformations, we found the same thing: There was no miracle moment. Instead, a down-to-earth, pragmatic, committed-to-excellence process—a framework—kept each company, its leaders, and its people on track for the long haul. In each case, it was the triumph of the Flywheel Effect over the Doom Loop, the victory of steadfast discipline over the quick fix. And the real kicker: The comparison companies in our study—firms with virtually identical opportunities during the pivotal years—did buy into the change myths described above—and failed to make the leap from good to great.

How change doesn’t happen. Picture an egg. Day after day, it sits there. No one pays attention to it. No one notices it. Certainly no one takes a picture of it or puts it on the cover of a celebrity-focused business magazine. Then one day, the shell cracks and out jumps a chicken.

All of a sudden, the major magazines and newspapers jump on the story: “Stunning Turnaround at Egg!” and “The Chick Who Led the Breakthrough at Egg!” From the outside, the story always reads like an overnight sensation—as if the egg had suddenly and radically altered itself into a Chicken.

Now picture the egg from the chicken’s point of view. While the outside world was ignoring this seemingly dormant egg, the chicken within was evolving, growing, developing—changing. From the chicken’s point of view, the moment of breakthrough, of cracking the egg, was simply one more step in a long chain of steps that had led to that moment. Granted, it was a big step—but it was hardly the radical transformation that it looked like from the outside.

It’s a silly analogy, but then our conventional way of looking at change is no less silly.

Everyone looks for the “miracle moment” when “change happens.” But ask the good-to-great executives when change happened. They cannot pinpoint a single key event that exemplified their successful transition.”

We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the topic.

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