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Fundamental Flaw in #DigitalTransformation | @ExpoDX #FinTech #DevOps

There is a fundamental flaw in how many people think about digital transformation

Transformation Practice: The Key to Making Change a Core Competency
Guest post by Intellyx Principal Analyst Charles Araujo

There is a fundamental flaw in how many people think about digital transformation. First, as we've written about extensively at Intellyx, people tend to think about it as a finite corporate project, rather than as a process of continual transformation.

There is a deeper flaw in thinking, however, that leads to this type of project mentality. Enterprise leaders commonly think of transformation as something done at a corporate level - something the organization does to itself.

But that mindset creates a separation between the act of transformation at an organizational level and the transformation that must occur within each individual to make organizational transformation a reality.

The truth, however, is that there is no such thing as organizational transformation - at least not in the way people think about it. After all, organizations are merely collections of people with shared goals and objectives. Therefore, personal transformation becomes manifest at an enterprise level as it spreads across the organization.

Maintaining an exclusively organizational focus is where most transformation efforts go off the rails. Enterprise leaders fail to make transformation personal.

But the act of transforming the culture and operating model of an organization demands that each individual first accept the changing state of the organization, re-envision their role within it, and seek out the capabilities they need to participate in the process.

While this principle is true of any type of organizational transformation, the stakes are exponentially greater when embarking on a digital transformation effort, as such transformation will impact every facet of how the organization operates.

It is critical, therefore, that organizations not miss the personal focus and risk undermining their transformational effort, as doing so ensures almost certain failure - and therefore organizational demise.

Beyond offering some retraining, however, most organizations invest very little in helping their teams execute this sort of personal transformation. But there is a clear approach for precisely this type of personal transformation process: building a practice.

Why You Need a Personal Transformation Practice

When you hear the phrase, "building a practice," what comes to mind? We use the term in a variety of ways including in a professional sense, such as a legal, medical or consulting practice. We also use it in a personal growth sense, such as a yoga or meditation practice.

And while we don't often talk about them as "a practice," per se, we readily acknowledge that consistent practice is necessary in the pursuit of excellence in such things as sports or in playing a musical instrument.

In fact, whether we are talking about a medical practice, practicing yoga or mastering the craft of playing a musical instrument, the idea is consistent: excellence requires dedication, commitment, and continual effort.

Psychologist and Florida State University professor, Anders Ericsson, coined a phrase to represent this sort of focused and continual effort in pursuit of mastery: deliberate practice. The idea is that a person can achieve excellence in any field by continually practicing in a focused and deliberate fashion.

The concept has significant implications on a personal level, but for our purposes, the big message is that when you engage in ‘a practice,' it's not about getting something done.

Instead, it's a never-ending process in which you mindfully and continually identify areas that need improvement and relentlessly pursue mastery in each successive area you identify.

When viewed through this lens, it becomes clear that digital transformation is not something that organizations can execute at a purely organizational level or via a project orientation.

Instead, it becomes something that they must pursue at a personal level as individuals relentlessly build the specific new technical, communication and management capabilities that the organization will need to thrive in the digital era.

Continual Exploration

If you're a member of a team (and aren't we all), then you need to take it upon yourself to build your own transformation practice. As you do so, there are three specific components that will make up the core of your practice.

The starting point for building a personal digital transformation practice is embracing the idea of continual exploration. This strikes at the heart of why transformation is not and can never be a project.

In his work, Ericcson explains how golfer Ben Hogan embraced this form of continual exploration in spite of already being one of the best golfers in the world. He would identify a small area for improvement and would work relentlessly on improving that one part of his game.

You can find similar stories amongst ‘the best' in nearly any field of practice. The best are perpetually trying to improve whatever they do. It is only the mediocre who rest on their laurels and believe that they've ‘mastered enough.'

It may seem that these ideas would work well in the world of sports or music, but would be antithetical to life in a corporate enterprise. But the act of digital transformation, when you contemplate it at a personal level, is not very different.

You have been thrust into a new digital era and need a whole new set of capabilities to play your new role in the organization. Like Hogan, you may excel at some of these capabilities already, but there will be many others that need attention or which offer you the opportunity to make a leap forward.

Seeking out these opportunities and deliberately purusing their improvement is critical to building a transformation practice, and central to this process is the idea of exploration.

Those who engage in deliberate practice constantly challenge their own assumptions, and never accept that something as done or good enough. With child-like eyes, they look at their world anew each day and ask themselves how they can improve it in some way.

Digital transformation demands that the people who make up the organization execute this process on a continual basis. The nature of the organization and the skills that the organization will need in the future continue to change and evolve.

The ability to remain in a constant state of exploration - and change and improvement - will be the foundational element of building your personal digital transformation practice, and will ensure that your organization can respond to the demands of the digital era.

The Intellyx Take

There is no digital transformation finish line. So stop worrying about it.

The only way to transform the organization is to begin by transforming yourself and your team. But - and this is the tough part of this story - you can't actually transform your team. The best you can do is to inspire them to transform themselves and give them the tools to do so.

That begins with encouraging every member of your team to take personal responsibility for their own transformation and challenging them to build their own transformational practice - and if you're a leader, the process should start with you.

It may feel backward, that you should be working on ‘organizational stuff' rather than on helping your team develop a daily transformational discipline. But doing so will be the most critical thing you do to make change a core competency in your organization.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Markus Spiske.


DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the conference tracks for CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York.

DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City.

Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.

A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

2018 Conference Agenda, Keynotes and 10 Conference Tracks

DXWordEXPO New York 2018 and Cloud Expo New York 2018 agenda present 222 rockstar faculty members, 200 sessions and 22 keynotes and general sessions in 10 distinct conference tracks.

  • Cloud-Native | Serverless
  • DevOpsSummit
  • FinTechEXPO - New York Blockchain Event
  • CloudEXPO - Enterprise Cloud
  • DXWorldEXPO - Digital Transformation (DX)
  • Smart Cities | IoT | IIoT
  • AI | Machine Learning | Cognitive Computing
  • BigData | Analytics
  • The API Enterprise | Mobility | Security
  • Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO 2018 New York cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 200 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor brings together the world's leading companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail.

As your enterprise creates a vision and strategy that enables you to create your own unique, long-term success, learning about all the technologies involved is essential. Companies today not only form multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures, but create them with built-in cognitive capabilities.

Cloud-Native thinking is now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector.

CloudEXPO is the world's most influential technology event where Cloud Computing was coined over a decade ago and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals.

FinTech Is Now Part of the DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO Program!

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 22nd CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City will find fresh new content in two new tracks called:

  • FinTechEXPO
  • New York Blockchain Event

which will incorporate FinTech and Blockchain, as well as machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning in these two distinct tracks.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. DXWorldEXPOCloudEXPO are pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program.

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are accepting speaking submissions for this new track, so please visit Cloud Computing Expo for the latest information or contact us at [email protected]

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

Download Slide Deck ▸ Here

Only DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO bring together all this in a single location:

Attend DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO. Build your own custom experience. Learn about the world's latest technologies and chart your course to Digital Transformation.

22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO, taking place November 11-13, 2018, in New York City, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS - software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

Sponsorship Opportunities

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising on 4,5 million article pages in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Unmatched editorial coverage on Cloud Computing Journal.
  • Tweetup to over 100,000 plus Twitter followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

Secrets of Our Most Popular Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact [email protected].

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Download Slide Deck:Here

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is now open.

Secrets of Our Most Popular Faculty Members ▸ Here

Submit your speaking proposal Here or by email [email protected].

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

About DXWorldEXPO LLC

DXWorldEXPO LLC is a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based trade show company and the creator of DXWorldEXPODigital Transformation Conference & Expo. The company produces and presents CloudEXPO, DevOpsSummitFinTechEXPO Blockchain Event, the world's most influential conferences and trade shows.

More Stories By Charles Araujo

Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He is a regular contributor to CIO.com and has been quoted or published in Time, InformationWeek, CIO Insight, NetworkWorld Computerworld, USA Today, and Forbes.

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