The science (or is it an Art?) of Management is like a kite in the sky. It is subject to currents that can be difficult to control. We twist and turn according to trends and unpredictable gusts of wind. Sometimes we simply hold tightly onto the rope and hope the whole thing doesn´t get too tangled. In other situations, we even dare to turn cartwheels. Recently, a great flurry of whirlwind is stirring up everything. It is called Digital Transformation. Below I´ve drawn up a quick guide (an “alternative” one – Oh Yeah!) to at least stop the kite flying off and, at best, let you loop the loop over and over again.
1 – Get rid of the word Digital.
We are being sold, not without reason, the idea that the longevity of organizations depends on the expertise with which we digitize the henhouse. But in reality, it is not exclusively about technology. In fact, the great hullaballoo is fundamentally anthropological. It’s all about designing organizations and processes that put the users at the center of it all. It’s about people becoming more “People” than ever.The time has come to embrace the most genuine and unstoppable humanist movements ever experienced. If we don´t do this, we could easily fall into the tyranny of algorithms. And of course, we really don´t feel like it!
2 – Stay true to “Transformation”.
Change and evolve are concepts that fall short of the virulence of the new wind. Transformation is the most accurate word to describe the magnitude of the challenge. Stop BEING one thing in order to BECOME another.The future accelerates exponentially and we must enter into “Trauma Mode”. Only with a powerful shock, something similar to a coup d’état, your company will be able to transform from night to day. At the beginning, there will be casualties and indignant citizens. But in the New Order a sustainable and organic hyper-democracy will prevail. Over time the trauma will finally be digested.
3 – Send the Current Culture off to Mars.
There is an opposing force to this entire movement that slows down any attempt to transform. This force is devious and has a self-assigned legitimacy. The great enemy is Organizational Culture: A green and slimy ghost that should be absorbed by a plasma aspirator, encapsulated in a proton container and launched into outer space. Given the practical difficulties of such an upheaval, we recommend resorting to another solution, namely reprogram the story of Cultural Inertia with a new Corporate Narrative. A narrative that redefines the purpose of the company and projects you towards the future. And never, ever look into that corner where the green slimy spirit is dying. It is a mean bitch of a ghost and could reactivate the most dangerous elements of our gloomy spirit.
4 – Listen to angry customers and employees for 3 days in a row.
Accepting and taking charge of their own vulnerabilities is a great start to activate the transformative will. Let´s Go for it! Let’s face it once and for all. The subjectivity of the dissatisfied client and employee will inspire routes of progress a thousand times better than any of the “objectivities” that emanate from an aseptic P&L or from an inert Strategic Plan. But… how easy it is think up excuses not to remove those earplugs and start asking questions that have no comforting answers, right?
5 – Kill Zombie-Managers.
There are professionals who have settled down in the darkness. They are there but never actually engaged. Or even worse, they occupy space and use up valuable oxygen without even truly existing. It hurts to see them wandering through the corridors, stagnating in the office, hanging around in the elevators with their eyes rolled back, leaving a viral trail of negativity and immobility. But paradoxically, it is that misplaced compassion that could lead to a pandemic. And then nothing would prevent the Zombie Apocalypse. When you have tried everything after their resurrection, when nothing has worked, you must accept that terrible moment of truth. Grab your weapon, Load it. Headshot! “We will always love you pal. You´ll never be forgotten ”
6 – Send the CEO off to really get to know their children.
When your CEO starts talking about Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Block-Chain check to see if they have the latest books and magazines in English on their shelves or have been to an “guru-in-shirt-event”. If that´s the case then “No Panic”. Propose a two-week intensive with their Millennial or Zetas children. Not only will they reconcile themselves but they will also be able to look through the Eyes of the Future. When they get back to the office, you will all be prepared to have powerful, confident and well-founded conversations.
7- Initiate just one of the points above right now!
And another one tomorrow morning. And another the day after … don´t stop … do it now … don´t look back. Thanks for reading this text, for not taking it too seriously, for hating those who try to fix everything with sanctimonious lists providing redemption. Although I do ask you one thing. Check the weather forecast. And wait for THE moment to take out your kite. And, with luck, one day, you will take off. You´ll soar high into the heavens. And you yourself will be flying.