Changing how agencies change - Embedding digital transformation in organisational DNA

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Text of Changing how agencies change - Embedding digital transformation in organisational DNA


    Craig ThomlerPublic Sector Digital Transformation Officers Summit

    20 April 2017

  • What is Digital Transformation?

    Not digitisation integrating digital tech into workplaces

    Not digitalisation replicating offline processes online

    Digital Transformation

  • What is Digital Transformation?

    Use of technology to improve how society, commerce and governance are constituted and operate, to centre them around the self-actualisation of every individual,backed by data-driven evidence.

  • Traditional project management

    Start Plan Build Test Release End

    Goal: Get from A to B

  • Agile project management

    Goal: Get from A to B

    Start End













  • Thats fine for projects

    Defined scope

    Defined timeframe

    Defined budget

    Defined outcome

    Perfect for slow-changing environments

  • Treating Digital Transformation as a project means increasingly falling behind.

  • Digital transformation involves continual change

    Is an endless journey, not a stop-start project

    Requires new thinking, organisation and resourcing approaches

    You will never see the end continue changing & evolving over many human lifespans

  • -2,000,000 Fire-12500 Farming-3500 Monotheism-2350 Sewage systems-500 Democracy1000 Guns1440 Printing press1796 Vaccination1820 Industrialisation1830 Telegraph1846 Petroleum1876 Telephone1886 Horseless carriage1880 Artificial fibres1888 Alternating current1890 Womens suffrage1894 Radio1904 Production line

    1905 Powered flight1907 Plastic1911 Modern fertiliser1916 Drones1925 Artificial organs1928 Antibiotics1937 Computing devices1937 Nuclear medicine1939 Jet aircraft1941 Solar panels1944 Nuclear power1953 DNA1954 Transplant surgery1954 Programmable robot1955 Civil Rights Movement1950 AI Turing test1957 Satellites1960 Birth control pill

    1960 Lasers1971 Recombinant DNA1973 Mobile phones1975 Augmented reality/VR1981 Desktop computers1982 Internet1984 Self-drive car1991 Wi-fi1994 World-wide-web1995 GPS1996 Google1998 3D printing2000 Smartphones2004 Facebook2005 YouTube2007 DNA Transplant2014 Cybernetic hand with touch2016 Power-free water from air

    Theres been many transformations

  • Traditional organisations struggle to adapt

    Rigid hierarchies designed to resist change

    Budgetary cycles designed for accountability not outcomes

    Torturous decision-making led by HIPpos, not strategists

    Managed not led

    Distrust their own staff

    Often complexify rather than simplify

  • How do we transform the DNA of organisations?

    Restructures dont work swaps one hierarchy for another

    Innovation ghettos dont work exist on fringe, not in the centre

    Change programs dont work scope and timeframes too limited to manage continual change & growth

    Need a clean break

  • How do we transform the DNA of organisations?

    Turn administrative hierarchy into knowledge-centric matrices any employee can lead, within their own expertise and skill base, regardless of their position.

    Purge untrustworthy staff & untrusting leaders.

    Hand back responsibility to all staff, within a responsibility framework.

    Create new recruitment dynamic based on attitude, not skills.

    Align and connect people by interests and passions.

    Provide low-barrier collaboration & connection tools.

    Commit to continual self-driven training.

    Rigorously enforce ethical standards the price of admission & retention.

  • Is changing DNA possible?

    In large organisationsYes Accenture is a model to look at (400,000 staff)

    In government-run organisationsYes introducing blended teams, Agile methodology, 360 degree ongoing assessment, performance-based rewards

  • Where should organisations start?

    Continuous change program Combine future scanning, innovation & project office with change management

    Behaviour change Make happy, high performing people a core organisational KPI for all staff.

    Tool up Provide, and train people on collaboration tools and practice.

    Train up Make continual training on relevant topics a base requirement for every employee and foster people as internal trainers across the organisation.

    Set & measure using meaningful metrics Outcomes not outputs

    De-structure, not restructure Create a knowledge pool that people can dip into to find relevant & passionate staff for specific tasks.

  • Addressing change fatigue

    People disengage when they feel disempowered

  • Tech spheres to keep an eye on (Environmental impacts) Artificial Intelligence (supplementing & replacing human decision-makers)

    Automation (of labour)

    Autonomous vehicles inc Drones (human-free transport & logistics)

    Blockchain (built in transparency on transactions

    Cybernetics (better than human)

    Genetics (disease eradication, self-driven evolution)

    Internet of Things (Internet everywhere)

    Renewable energy & batteries (unlimited localised power)

    Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality (information layer)

    3D Printing (home manufacturing)

  • Thank you

    Craig Thomler

    T: @CraigThomler