This is the third of 8 articles describing the tenets of the Digital Transformation Manifesto. The Need to Pivot Quickly is the second tenet.
The third tenet of the Digital Transformation Manifesto is, “We create purpose-based value.” Most organizations have a mission statement. The mission is normally clarifies the purpose of the organization. It answers the question, “Why does this organization exist?” It provides the motivation for the employees and stakeholders of the organization.
You may be thinking to yourself, ‘What does this have to do with digital transformation?” The answer is that your organization’s purpose will lead to a value proposition for your stakeholders and customers. That value proposition provides the motivation for your digital transformation. Digital transformation should enable an organization to greatly magnify its ability to create value and achieve the purpose or mission.
Digital transformation has two core components, the application of digital technologies and the transformation of products, services, and processes to new or unique level of performance and achievement. Each is powerful in its own right and together they can create a condition where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Upgrading existing products and processes with digital technologies will lead to faster, stronger, or more accurate performance. However, the organization is still doing the same thing, just doing it better. The organization can also be transformed with new products, processes, personnel, and culture that are not digitally enabled. This transformation can reposition the organization in the competitive landscape, but it does not revolutionize or create an entirely new industry.
Digital transformation will do both and more. It helps the organization be faster, stronger, and more accurate. It leads to the innovation of new products, services, and processes. And It also creates entirely new industries and entirely new ways of operating. That is why the purpose becomes so important. The purpose defines and describes the value to be created in order to fulfill the mission. It aligns and prioritizes the organization’s process and systems.
An organization with a great mission or purpose can use digital transformation as an enabler for success. And the organization can transform its mission to take advantage of the new horizons that are opened to it through digital transformation. Instead of being confined to a small geographic region, it can reach the world. Instead of being restricted to only a handful of customers or clients it can rapidly scale and grow exponentially. Instead of being restricted to physical product and services it can deliver data, information and experiences that are augmented with the traditional physical products and services.
Added to this is the attribute of the mission that goes beyond a profit motive. Today’s cultures place a priority on societal and environmental issues and initiatives. Many people today are searching for meaning in their professional life and the organization’s mission or purpose is a consideration when seeking employment. The mission or purpose provides motivation. However, the employees, members and stakeholders also need to believe the mission is achievable. The application of digital transformation can clear the way to achieve what was previously viewed as a “mission impossible.”
The principle of creating purpose-based value will focus your digital transformation. This is a tenet of the Digital Transformation Manifesto. However, it is only one of eight fundamental tenets. This tenet is an organizing principle used to direct the transformation. .
In my next article, we will be exploring Customer and Stakeholder Experience.
Raymond Sheen, PMP® LSS BB, is president and founder of Product & Process Innovation, Inc. He is a veteran business leader with over 30 years of executive, engineering management, and project management experience deploying new technology and improving business performance. He has consulted and trained companies in various industries and business functions including marketing, engineering, manufacturing, service, IT, and Finance. Ray is author of the book, Guide to Building Your Business Case, published by Harvard Business Review Press. Ray received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy and his M.S. in Astronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a graduate certificate in Digital Leadership and Strategy from Boston University.