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People: The Analog Connectors of Your Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the transformation of business and organizational activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of a mix of digital technologies and their accelerating impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way, with present and future shifts in mind.

What is digital transformation really? It is about being more efficient, making decisions based on data, having a continuous process improvement, and finally, having the tools available to capture return on investment.

However—without people to connect your technology to your processes and outcomes—your transformation is going to be fraught with challenges.

Here are a few different categories of people, and roles within those categories, that are critical to the success of your digital business transformation:

The Change Agent: Because change is hard—but it doesn’t have to be THAT hard.

  • Leaders: to provide guidance and stability
  • Early Adopters: to help you test and improve your implementation and output
  • Early Majority: to get on board and help convince others to do so as well
  • Trusted 3rd Parties: to answer the question you will inevitably have: Has anyone else ever done this?

The Coach: Because everyone needs support.

  • Leaders: to consistently communicate the change and provide support to next-level leadership
  • Experts: to answer questions, identify best practices, and provide external data
  • Peer Mentors: to support the changes to process and job roles and help onboard new hires
  • Facilitators: to help with the implementation of digital training programs to keep the human connection to learning, even in a virtual manner

The Data: Because garbage in, garbage out!

  • Leaders: to utilize existing systems and dashboards for reporting—and make the data count
  • Analysts: to make data interpretation easier through dashboards and make it available for all
  • Data Entry: to ensure the appropriate data is captured and verified to be accurate
  • Quality: to get the data into a system clean—and keep it that way

The Decision Makers: Because that’s why we are all here—data drives decision-making.

  • Leaders: to continue to leverage data to make better decisions
  • Consulted: to provide data to support their opinion
  • Informed: to review data supporting a decision before objecting to it
  • Advised: to trust the decisions based on data

If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve noticed a trend. Our leaders are so critical to the success of any digital business transformation. We need them to be change agents, to coach us through the change, to support the use of the data in a consistent manner, and to demonstrate how this data helps drive better decisions.

Consider your digital transformation journey and reflect on your own human analog connections. Are you engaging all the different types of people we discussed in this session? Are there any areas that you need to focus on for a better engagement strategy? Let’s continue the conversation on where you think you might want to go from here in the comment thread. In the coming months ahead, we will have additional sessions, pulling in thought leaders inside GP Strategies and some of our valued partners to provide more specific recommendations on those human connections.

But the first connection starts here—comment below and connect.

About the Authors

Sheri Weppel
Sheri Weppel started her career as an art teacher covered in finger paint, clearly teaching people about out-of-the-box thinking (or at least off-the-construction-paper thinking). While working on her master’s degree in Instructional Design and Development at Lehigh University, she realized that we could learn a lot from the public-school classroom. Concepts like micro-learning, learning styles, gaming, and training on demand were common in grade school, but were considered new concepts in the corporate sector. Because one degree is never enough, Sheri continued her studies at Lehigh with a focus on Gaming for Instruction. In her spare time, she spent her evenings losing to her husband in Scrabble and wanting to throw the letter Q across the room, making her realize the emotional attachments we can have to games. If we could harness that desire to succeed, compete, or win to a learning environment, what impact could we have on learner motivation? Countless games of Scrabble later, Sheri started at GP Strategies as an Instructional Designer and was able to inject those concepts into solutions for her customers. This is often a challenge for customers that want to use gaming but often don’t believe they have the time or budget required to successfully launch into the gaming space. Sheri is driven to help these clients find a balance in embedding gaming elements into instruction in a practical manner. In the past nine years, Sheri has held many roles within the organization, from instructional designer to sales lead for blended learning, and is now focusing on the off-the-shelf product GPiLEARN+, growing the product into a true blended learning solution. Regardless of her role, Sheri is always focused on working with customers to help build impactful training solutions that focus on the needs of all populations. She helps clients determine specifically when to incorporate gaming versus using hands-on, traditional approaches. When she is not working, Sheri enjoys having adventures with her dog Olivia, attending barre classes, and learning new three-letter words that begin with the letter Q.

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