• Teri Christian

Where to Invest? Part 1

Are organizations obsessed with technology toys? I sometimes think so. I have worked with countless companies that make huge technical capital investments without considering other needs that preceded leveraging the technology. It is easy to convince the C-suite and board that company X is using new technology and are market leaders. Therefore, if we invest in the same technology, we can better compete. Seems pretty simple when we only look at Business Results.



In "Digital Operations" Chapter 3: Tame the Jungle, I discuss the need to shift desired results to people, customers, and society to achieve business results.

When the focus is shifted from Business Results being the only determinant of success to considering first people results followed by the customer and societal results, the organization will naturally reap the benefits. If they do not see an increase in market share by shifting the focus, the DigOps Workflow and Road Map will help them identify where they are falling short and provide the necessary data to address shortcomings. It takes rigor and a desire to transform to the DigOps model.


The shift is not easy and takes a Digital Transformation to change to new ways of working, learning, and measuring to tame the jungle. What is a Digital Transformation? According to Colleen Chapco-Wade, a Digital Workplace and Marketing Specialist, Digital Transformation is:

“More about people than it is about digital technology. It requires organizational changes that are customer-centric, backed by leadership, driven by radical challenges to corporate culture, and that leverage technology that empowers and enables employee.”

In practical terms, a Digital Transformation is the continuous cycle of organizational change that creates space for a business to adapt to the emergent customer, people, and societal needs to remain competitive in an Industry 4.0 economy.


What’s an Operating Model?

Every organization uses an operating model that outlines how it is structured, who works in the business, how work gets done, what tools are used, and the vision or competitive advantage. The difference between using the correct operating model or not is whether the business thrives or fails.

Culture All operating models have three interrelated elements that continuously influence each other; people, process, and technology.


People: Organizations usually visualize their structure through an organizational structure or chart. A company’s processes and technology influence employees’ behaviors and habits. The outcome of what people do and how they do it shapes the organizational culture.


Process: The method or approach used to get work done. But the process is not limited to tangible ideas that can be drawn out, such as a production line or hiring process. Process and (people) behaviors define the organization’s culture, affecting how people think about work and work together to leverage technical solutions (tools).


Technology: The physical and digital tools that shape the speed and quality of work to be completed. The types of technology define needed skills and shape processes and people behaviors by increasing or decreasing learning and adaptability.


A Digital Transformation requires a change in people, process and technology, and an understanding of the current and desired state. The transformation transitions organizations from a traditional operating model successfully used by Henry Ford and others to a digital operating model that infuses diversity, inclusion, and equity concepts to develop a learning organization. The ridged operating models of the past are antiquated and harmful to survival in the jungle.


These are the three areas of investment. Start with People and you will reap benefits year over year.

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