Jumping in the middle

originally posted on Salesforce Blog

Digital Transformation is becoming increasingly critical for companies to create new business models and customer experiences, capitalize on market and increase of innovation and execution. of digital transformation projects fail, however, because they often feature constantly shifting targets, and increasingly complex scope and stakeholder groups as the project.

As business needs and capabilities pop up during the process, transformation projects can last years. For leaders and consultants, the likelihood that you engage at the start of a digital transformation, with all the information and context you need, is highly unlikely. Most executive sponsors join a project somewhere in between the time of scope definition and the actual adoption, with limited time to onboard and become productive. And an account that should be green turns red in what seems like an instant.

So how do you turn around a digital transformation initiative that’s struggling to add value and build momentum? More importantly, for those on the advisory side, how do you build trust with your customer and deliver innovation in “show me, don’t tell me” environment?

Here are seven opportunities to build trust and turn an engagement from “red” to “full speed ahead”:

  1. Use your beginner’s mind: Do some basic fact-finding, and determine those initiatives and priorities that are important to the program. Sometimes it’s the days with no planned meetings that are most insightful.
  2. Be present: Be on location with your customer to show your investment in building connections to the organization and its stakeholders. Find the key influencers in the program and executive teams who can be advocates for your initiatives.
  3. Be willing to lead: Step up and take responsibility for the success of the project and demonstrate that you have skin in the game. Whether it’s owning projects, chairing or facilitating workshops, or coaching mentees, find ways to build working relationships.
  4. Create connections: Use your new knowledge of the organization, stakeholders, and influencers to demonstrate that resources, ideas, and people already exist to solve problems. By revealing these capabilities to solve key issues, you’ll build confidence in your customer and close gaps in.
  5. Operate in the grey area: Test out hypotheses, and respond quickly to end-user feedback. Listen and learn from your customer’s customers, and be intentional about incorporating their voice into your program. Your experience should always be “true north” when making decisions about the project.
  6. Create calm: Calm any angst or apprehension in your customer by building confidence in the vision and the capabilities at hand. This will create room for creative thinking and problem solving, and focus and excellence in execution.
  7. Use the power of expertise and network: We often talk about using “the full power of Salesforce.” This means that every employee has the expertise of the entire Ohana at their disposal to solve customer challenges. When moving your engagement from Red to Green, don’t be afraid to tap into the expertise within your company, and your broader group of influencers, (and even the customer!) to create connections and expand the impact and influence of your program.

Being willing to build relationships and act with empathy will lead to much more.

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