Developing Change-Ready Organizations Part 2

By Federico Foli and Vera Anderson

As organizations continue to engage in digital transformation, it is important to remember what is driving the success of these projects. Focusing on the technology itself can uncover inefficiencies within an organization’s operations, and culture, that lead to undesirable results. Here are some reminders of where the focus should lie at the leadership level, to successfully complete digital transformation projects with intended outcomes.

According to reports from McKinsey & Co. and Forbes, 70% of digital transformations fail. Large companies with access to an abundance of resources, and top international talent, such as GE, Ford and Procter & Gamble, have hit roadblocks integrating digital solutions into their businesses at great cost and loss of time and advancement.

Why do these organizations fail at implementing digital transformation strategies? Many of them look at technology as a savior to their current business challenges. The reality is it all goes back to the people within the organization who drive the change and the adoption of new technology. 

There is no doubt that technology is a strong enabler for every business to embrace and leverage change. It is a big part of the evolution of our society at business and individual levels. How many of you remember the time before smartphones, apps, games and a plethora of social media choices? Now consider: would you be able to get through a day without your phone? Most would say no.

What makes this technology, phones and apps, so addictive is that we can’t imagine, or run, our lives without them now. The same will happen with the digital transformation in businesses. At some point in the future, all businesses will have technology running every aspect of the business, from customer engagement to internal operations and finance, to future growth and expansion plans. All powered by artificial intelligence and secured by blockchain residing in physical and virtual worlds. But at this point, the speed of adoption and integration of these technologies still depends heavily on the people. 

Organizations that mainly focus on the technology side of transformation come up short, forgetting that the technology component is only the enabler and not the driver of transformation. A successful digital transformation project starts with the leadership’s ability to:

• Understand and define what digital transformation means for the organization and the brand, short-term and long-term. 

• Deliver a clear, consistent and engaging communication of this vision to the entire organization to create a buy-in at all levels.

• Foster a culture of innovation where technology in the hands of the right people is used to create new solutions for the present and for the future.

Organizations where people drive transformation, enabled by technology, are more likely to succeed with digital transformation projects. They create synergies among the leadership, the vision, the culture, the people and the technology, giving them a clear mission and a fulfilling, common goal. This fosters a resilient, and sustainable, approach to managing inevitable difficulties, and surprises, and making the adjustments that must be made along the way. This is further explained in the book by Federico Foli, The Mindful Leader, The Sound of Business.

The pandemic, and its aftershocks, have clearly demonstrated that the people, the human capital, are the key components of any organization, big or small. Offering a steady paycheck and benefits are not enough to keep top talent and see them engaged and committed to one workplace. People at all levels of the organization, from the C-level to the lowest ranks, are reconsidering their priorities in life, resigning or taking time off, pursuing their dreams or going into retirement. 

This phenomenon, one might argue, is the reason all companies are in a race to begin, complete or expand their digital transformation projects, in addition to adapting to the remote workforce and business development. Some of these short-term solutions, and workarounds, can be considered permanent if they align with the bigger vision, and mission, of the organization. Others create more work, screen fatigue and frustration for people of all levels, decreasing the motivation to proceed with the digital transformation projects going forward.

So, what would it take to succeed with digital transformation projects when the headcounts are dropping, the competition for customers is coming out of left field and market expectations for the public companies, in particular, stay the same? The answer is simple: by creating a human-centered approach to digital transformation, more organizations will succeed in this area.      

These humancentric fundamentals are important to any organization; however, they are critical to successfully completing digital transformation projects:

• Putting people first by providing more transparency, collaboration and autonomy to the right individuals.

• Providing support, mentoring, and coaching to all the members of the organization from CEO to administrative staff as all people react differently to changes.

• Creating an engaging, and energized, environment where the right behaviors and outcomes are incentivized for faster adoption.

• Curating diverse teams that encompass the right skills and capabilities to bring the digital transformation projects to completion.

By positioning the technology as the enabler of digital transformation, and not the main driver, organizations will see greater success with the implementation of their digital transformation strategies.

You can find the first article in this series on change-ready organizations here

Vera Anderson is an international business mindset and legacy coach. Contact Anderson for a consultation at or on LinkedIn at vera-anderson.

Federico Foli is a senior executive with more than 25 years’ experience leading global companies. To learn more, visit

You May Also Like

Black Dog Venture Partners acquires stake in St. Pete woman-owned business

Black Dog Venture Partners has acquired a 20 percent stake in Giggidy, a women-owned music discovery platform, based in St. Petersburg. “Giggidy’s inception began in late 2017, after dating a local South Florida musician for three years and going to hundreds of his gigs and witnessing firsthand the endless headaches local musicians, venue owners and

The etiquette of 2023 video meetings 

  We have been Zoom-ing and Teams-ing for years and while the frequency of these video meetings may have subsided since the height of the pandemic, the format is here to stay.  People have “Zoom Room” fatigue and Teams Meeting “taxed-outed-ness.” So being intentional can keep the time to a minimum and maximize the technology

20 Questions With Ian Black

Ian Black is the founder of Ian Black Real Estate. He has worked in commercial real estate, in Sarasota-Manatee since the 1980s but prior to that, he lived in his homeland of Northern Ireland, which he fled shortly after his real estate office in Belfast was destroyed in a bombing during The Troubles. He opened

Home vs. office in the real estate industry

The influence of COVID-19 has led to changes in the way we think, the way we act and even the way we work. To be successful, people must deal with inevitable challenges, figure out new ways to accomplish goals and become comfortable amidst new circumstances. The questionable part is that when the smoke clears, how

Other Posts

Habits of salespeople who thrive during times of economic uncertainty

Are we in the midst of – or are about to enter – a period of economic uncertainty? Who knows? But some high-achieving salespeople don’t just survive hard times – they create new “personal best” performance levels during potential down cycles in their business. How do they do it?  In a new white paper, the

Does your lawyer serve two masters?

By Anthony D. Martino, OLDER LUNDY KOCH & MARTINO, Attorneys at Law Say you or your company is being sued in a claim for which you have insurance. As part of your insurance coverage, the insurer will provide you with a lawyer. This lawyer is either an “insurance defense lawyer” who makes their money from

Bank of America names two Tampa Bay nonprofits as 2022 Neighborhood Builders

Bank of America has named the St. Pete Free Clinic and the University Area Community Development Corporation as 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders awardees for their work in the community to remove economic barriers and advance economic opportunity. With multi-year grant funding, the organization’s programs and services that address local access to healthcare, nutritious

Great Places and Spaces: An office plan to ponder (PHOTOS)

Lawyers are not typically known for designing offices with stylized architectural flair, but the law firm of Shutts & Bowen is making bold moves to blow out the walls of its Tampa office, literally.  As part of its recent office expansion, the firm’s Tampa office constructed a large open-air terrace that weaves into the majestic