How to Launch a People-First Digital Transformation

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In our blog post, “Common Ways to Sink Your Digital Transformation,” we explain how processes, like getting leadership buy-in and establishing a clear, measurable strategy, are critical to the success of your digital transformation. And most companies are failing. Not only do 50% of executives admit to NOT executing their digital strategies effectively, but Futurum Research classifies roughly one in five companies as a “digital laggard,” an organization that is digitally handcuffed by resistance to change and sub-par technology. So with literally trillions of digital transformation dollars at stake, we have to ask ourselves, “Why are so many companies doing it wrong?”

What too often gets glanced over about digital transformations is that they’re people processes — not technology ones. Technology is technology, nothing more than plugs and cords, wires and switches, hardware and software. But people have talent, perspective and critical-thinking skills, which is why the most successful digital initiatives are those that put people at the forefront of the process.

In a recent article on, Futurum CEO Daniel Newman published three tips for creating a “people-first” digital transformation.

Here’s a recap:

1. Hand Over the Steering Wheel

Whether it’s related to a major organizational change or what’s on the menu for the company holiday party, people want control. A digital transformation can be a massive paradigm shift for your organization, not to mention one that introduces your people to unfamiliar and, potentially, unwelcome technologies. Giving your people a degree of control over digital initiatives instead of blindsiding them with top-down decisions can go a long way in making your digital transformation a success.

2. Keep Your Doors Open

A huge part of transferring digital control from the C-suite to your people is creating a platform for authentic, transparent communication. Delivering surveys, holding feedback sessions and creating pilot groups for new technologies are great ways of eliminating any decision-making hierarchies related to digital initiatives and assuring your people that their voices are heard and valued.

3. Share the “Why”

Your people will be more apt to buy into your digital strategy if they know what it’s designed to accomplish. Hopefully, your investments in solutions like cloud communications and virtualized networking aren’t just an administrative cost-cutting exercise. Whether through department-wide memos or on the company website, make sure your people understand how your digital transformation dollars are being spent and what goals they’re helping to accomplish.

Daniel Newman isn’t the only thought leader urging companies to put people at the front of their digital investments — Select is getting in on the action as well. So much so that we’ve reflected it in our core values! At Select, we’ve created a people-first environment built on listening, solving problems and giving our best in all ways. That’s our promise to our partners, clients and you.

We invite you to learn more about how we make good on the promise and start a conversation with us about how you hope to put people first at your organization. We’d love to hear from you!

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