Aerial-highway-junctionThis is the conclusion to a 4-part series on Business Transformation.

Recent studies tracking the progress of digitizing enterprises indicate two key trends:

  1. The number and proportion of organizations with an enterprise-wide digital strategy has increased significantly in three years.
  2. Companies are struggling to cultivate and advance their digital strategies.

Numerous causes have been cited to explain the lag in many companies’ efforts to successfully execute their digital strategies, including leaders not being fully equipped to lead digital initiatives, resistance to change, being bound by strategic decisions made 10 to 20 years ago, and many other factors.

Studies focused on human capital trends cited that only a handful of survey respondents understand how to build their future organization. Furthermore, for the second consecutive year, reorganizing the way an organization works (organizational design) has become the most important human capital trend.  Additionally, leaders reported little confidence that they have the right roadmap and framework to effectively build their digital organization.

Indeed, this fourth industrial revolution has disrupted the foundation of business.  Given the challenges cited above, now more than ever, it is imperative for organizations to build high-performing networks of teams that are fast, innovative, and agile.

Launch your organization into the future with the following STOP / CONTINUE / START suggestions.


Stop (Need to Transform)

  • Transform organization models of the past: The digital frontier requires disrupting organization models, structures, and design principles. Predominant organization models of the past, such as matrix and functional organizations, hinder the cultivation of agile, collaborative, and innovative digital teams.  The organization of the future is modeled after elite sports teams and consulting firms that are flatter with fewer levels and are focused on outcomes and laser-focused execution.  The optimal model and structure varies by organization and strategy.
  • Eliminate organization charts: Companies are already seeing that there is a big gap between what the hierarchical organization chart shows and how real, day-to-day work gets done. Work is completed through a network of teams.  Organization charts, developed meticulously through careful consideration, are often lagging artifacts behind the rapid changes within today’s organization.



  • Reinforce and clarify vision: In the midst of significant change, disruption, and uncertainty, people need to know what they are marching towards. It is critical to ensure your vision, strategy, and objectives are clear and ingrained in the minds of everyone in your organization.  Be persistent in showing your exciting vision of the future and provide regular updates.
  • Foster an environment of knowledge sharing, collaboration, continuous feedback: Inspire and align teams, and connect teams to share information. Give regular and continuous feedback in real-time to empower people to recalibrate and reset goals and change projects.



  • Emphasize flexibility: Organize for speed, agility, adaptability, learning, innovation, and customer impact.  Organize teams to move faster, adapt more quickly, facilitate rapid learning, and embrace the dynamic career demands of today’s workforce.
  • Effect change with Design Thinking: Your transformed organization empowers people through shared goals and a team-centric structure.  The organization needs to be designed to help people get things done.
  • Build a network of teams: It is necessary to implement an organizational model where work is accomplished in teams.  The teams are organized to focus on customers, customer satisfaction, products, product quality, services, service performance, and business outcomes.  It is essential to coordinate and align these teams, with a playbook on how the teams will share information and work together.
  • Unlock the potential of the high-performing team: Apply the team concept of military organizations or professional sports teams, where a single person leads a highly skilled group, with less concern about reporting relationships.  Ensure there are stretch goals, and empower the team to achieve what regular teams declare to be impossible.
  • Make information transparent: Ensure there is a free flow of information, and collaboration and knowledge-sharing are part of “business as usual.”
  • Explore alternative career paths for team members: Provide an open and flexible career model that is not necessarily focused on upward mobility.  There are rewarding careers offering lateral mobility, diverse career journeys, and encouragement to work cross-function.  Empower everyone to grow through lateral projects and roles, continuous development, and challenging assignments.
  • Enable talent mobility as a core competency: To remain agile, an organization must be able to form and disband teams rapidly.  A team is formed to deliver business outcomes then disperse, allowing team members fluidity to move onto new projects. This requires a clear understanding of each employee’s skills.  Utilize self-service enterprise social networks, and empower employees to update competencies and post for new projects.


Before you launch

To remain competitive in the increasingly digital market, it is necessary to embrace the ambiguity, uncertainty, and speed of change.  Digital is already transforming the business landscape, and the rate of change and disruption will only accelerate.  The successful organizations of the future are those that move faster, adapt more quickly, learn more rapidly, and embrace dynamic career demands.  Successful organizations operate as empowered networks, coordinated through culture, information systems, and talent mobility.  Successful organizations focus on transparent accountability to deliver results, including individual and team goals and metrics that are shared and accessible to everyone.

It is important to remember that a key critical success factor in developing new organizational models requires a new approach to leadership.  For a more detailed discussion on this important topic, please refer to part 3 of this 4-part series on Business Transformation, Leading in the Digital Frontier.


Click here to learn more about our Digital service offering. Want to continue the conversation? Contact us at, and read the first three parts of our series on digital transformation.

Part 1: People Powering Digital Transformation
Part 2: The Digital Transformation “Health Check”
Part 3: Leading in the Digital Frontier