PHASE 3: Translate the vision into action
PHASE 2: Contextualize the change to your business
PHASE 1: Condition stakeholders for change
Contextualize the change to your business
4. Craft a visual narrative
2. Identify punctuated shifts
1. Scan the environment
CRAFT A VISUAL
Once you’ve selected the most realistic examples for your context, build your narrative. Use bold, iconic images to tell a highly visual story that engages your stakeholders emotionally, as well as logically.
IDENTIFY HIGH-PERFORMING EXEMPLARS
Home in on solid examples to help stakeholders make the connection between these abstract ideas and what’s being put into practice. Which competitors or industry stand-outs are recognized for their innovations or best practices? How do these examples apply directly to your business?
Identify which opportunities and threats are most relevant to your organization. Then, note the contrast between what “was” or “is” and what “will be” so stakeholders see the trajectory of change.
The world is changing around you, but some of your stakeholders may not see it. Start with a broad sweep of your environment, considering social, technological, economic, environmental and political factors, and then narrow to your customers, competitors and contesters.
Translate the vision into action
9. Evaluate the
8. Define a
7. Explore jobs
to be done
6. Channel your customer
5. Scan the environment
Once you’ve defined the “to-be,” take a close look at the “as-is.” Identify current capabilities, and then assess the relative maturity against the scope of the vision. Do a gap analysis to identify where you need to lift capability maturity.
In steps 1 — 7, you began to create a clear vision for change. Now, it’s time to bring your future-state vision to life. Define the big, bold end state as the galvanizing vision for change.
TO BE DONE
Harvard Business School professor and author Clayton Christensen’s “jobs to be done” methodology can help you better understand the real reason your customers buy your products or services. Look beyond conventional applications to identify potential new use cases and revenue streams.
CHANNEL YOUR CUSTOMER
Nothing is quite as influential as the voice of the customer. Surface these insights, in the form of direct customer feedback and other qualitative approaches that allow you to uncover latent customer needs.
5. Evaluate business performance
EVALUATE BUSINESS PERFORMANCE
To gain traction on broader strategic change, you may first need to tackle imperatives with nearer-term consequences. Are negative trends or patterns affecting company performance? If so, focus here before you ask for broader change.
Congratulations! You’re well on your way to digital transformation. Keep the momentum you’ve gained by identifying the next beachhead and repeating the steps in Phase 3. Each iteration will build on your previous efforts and move you closer to achieving your vision.
Learn how Gartner for Marketers can help you craft and communicate your vision for change.
13. Secure and merchandise early wins
12. Define cross-functional work plan
11. Align stakeholders
10. Identify a beachhead
SECURE AND MERCHANDISE EARLY WINS
Change doesn’t happen by itself. Effective change leaders secure their victories by organizing every effort around the stated goal, and then actively promoting each win to build support, political capital and the funding to expand. Build momentum with your small successes, and you’ll ensure your digital vision becomes a reality.
DEFINE CROSS-FUNCTIONAL WORK PLAN
Executing across silos is one of the more challenging aspects of change leadership — but it’s also the place where you can gain real traction. Translate projects, plans and priorities into a cross-functional work plan to ensure every department and team member clearly understands the part they play in realizing the vision.
Identify the stakeholders you need to bring along in order of priority — from executives and functional leaders to informal influencers. Once you have their backing, activate the change mandate with the right incentives.
Every transformation requires an entry point. Choose yours where your current capability and greatest opportunity meet. By identifying the critical customer need you are best able to solve, you can create immediate impact, which in turn can generate enthusiasm and momentum to propel your vision forward.