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Digital Transformation Or Death, Make Your Choice!

A few days ago, I watched in awe (like many of us) as Elon Musk unveils his latest innovation, the solar rooftop with glass tiles. An outstanding solution that is set to disrupt both the energy and the construction industries. Elon represents a type of digital transformation leader that I call 'the chief disruptor' in my new book.

Last month, as I prepared some quizzes on the different types of digital transformation leaders I defined in my book The Digital Transformation Success Formula, I thought about Elon for a little while. I expected another innovation from him somewhere next year. But, he was faster. Fast and faster, that's the speed at which digital transformation is going and you don't want to be left behind.

Digital transformation will impact your life one way or another, like the industrial era had impacted our lives and that of our parents and grandparents. Whether you are aware of it or not, you will be making a choice between “digital transformation or death”. Leaders have to decide first. I help them make the right decisions and guide them to succeed when they choose digital transformation.

Every leader, no matters your title, your industry, or your work status as an entrepreneur or an employee, you want to be involved. Digital Transformation will affect you both personally and professionally.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is how the latest digital technologies combined with strategic business innovation are reshaping the actual era, reinventing businesses, organizations and our lifestyles. Many professions as we know them today will disappear in a couple of years. Many of you have already changed careers or experienced the loss of a job. We see many “ends” but digital transformation also offers many “beginnings” and that is what I want to guide you to take advantage of.

Digital Transformation and Leadership

Technology itself is evolving fast, but it will not create the transformation by itself. I have as proof the many millions euros/dollars technology and business projects that I had the opportunity to either manage, lead, participate in or witness in the corporate world (and especially in Fortune 500 companies) over the last 20 years. In fact, relying too much on technology is the number one reason for technology project’s failure. Leaders are creating the transformation. Our lifestyles, businesses, and organizations will be how our leaders shape them. The Digital Transformation Success Formula is aimed at empowering leaders so they can transform themselves first, and then transform our organizations, businesses, and lives efficiently.

If You Are a Leader, Join Me Online for the Launch Event!

I am launching my book The Digital Transformation Success Formula, and our Leaders' portal: www.digitaltransformationleaders.com in exactly two weeks, on November 17th.

Whether you are already involved in digital transformation, starting out or wondering what it is, I invite you to join me online on November 17th at 12:00 PM EST; (6/00 PM GMT+1; 9:00 AM PST).


6 Reasons Why You Should Save Your Place Now and Join Our Webinar Launch Event!

  1.  You will learn why digital transformation leaders are needed and how to become a great one.
  2.  You will learn why the formula in my book  will change both your personal and professional life for the best.
  3.  You'll have the opportunity to win several prizes.
  4.  I will be giving away a few gifts for free.
  5.  You will have fun learning and sharing.
  6.  Places are limited so first come, first served. Click here to register now!


I am looking forward to sharing much with you!

Nadia Vincent

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Digital Transformation or Death, Our Only Options!

As I prepare for the launch of my book “The Digital Transformation Success Formula”, I am often asked by friends who are not in the technology field “What is Digital Transformation?” That is a great question to ask and a great place to start. I say “start” because digital transformation will impact your life one way or another, like the industrial era had impacted your life and that of our parents. Whether you are aware of it or not, you will be making a choice between “digital transformation or death”. Leaders will have to decide first. I help them make the right decisions and guide them to succeed when they choose digital transformation.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is how the latest digital technologies combined with strategic business innovation are reshaping the actual era, reinventing businesses, organizations and our lifestyles.  Many professions as we know them today will disappear in a couple of years. Many of you have already changed careers or experienced the loss of a job. We see many “ends” but digital transformation also offers many “beginnings” and that is what I want to guide you to take advantage of.


Digital Transformation and Leadership

Technology itself is evolving fast, but it will not create the transformation by itself. I have as proof the many millions euros/dollars technology and business projects that I had the opportunity to either manage, lead, participate in or witness in the corporate world (and especially in Fortune 500 companies) over the last 20 years. In fact, relying too much on technology is the number one reason for technology project’s failure.  Leaders are creating the transformation. Our lifestyles, businesses and organizations will be how our leaders shape them. My new book, “The Digital Transformation Success Formula” is aimed at leaders so they can transform themselves first, and then transform our organizations, businesses, and lives efficiently.


Are you a leader?

Every leader, no matters your title, your industry, or your work status as an entrepreneur or an employee, you want to be involved. Join my group of Digital Transformation Leaders by opting in for the 1st report, “The N°1 Formula for Digital Transformation.” Just click the link to the portal below. Check out the blog on the site as well. I’ll keep you posted soon about the launch event for the Digital Transformation Leaders platform, as well as the book launch.


You won’t want to miss the launch event.

I’ll bring together a great panel of experts to deliver value to you on several aspects of digital transformation. Furthermore, for one hour, you will be able to download the Kindle version of the book for free. That’s not all. You will also be able to purchase the printed “The Digital Transformation Success Formula” book at a reduced price, all during a limited period of time. Additionally, there will be several other gifts to win.


Opt-in and join our group at www.digitaltransformationleaders.com.

Once you opt-in, I’ll then send you a private invitation for the launch event, coming in November and the Digital Transformation Report. You’ll also receive a video training on how to “Create Your Digital Transformation Vision in 7 Days”, for free.

See you there!

Nadia Vincent

How to Get 5 Times the Employee Engagement You Have Now

Digital transformation leaders are called to lead the process of digital transformation in their organizations, leading those organizations into the digital age as they transform both their business, and the people in their organizations.

Every organization already experienced a tremendous level of change during the last 10-15 years. Implementing change in organizations around the world has brought many organization with an employee engagement level this year 2016 down equal to 32% in the United States of America and 13% worldwide, according to research by Gallup.

Though many solutions have been made available on the market to counter these negative trends, the reality is that most organizations are experiencing some level of employee disengagement. The main reason is that several generations were educated for the industrial era, with expectations different than the actual situation in the digital era. As a result, in the market place, you will find individuals experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Individuals who are not in alignment with who they are and what they want to do and are feeling lost.
  • Individuals whose expectations of life is different from their actual lives.
  • Those who have much potential but are held back by their fear and mind programming.
  • Those who know of their purpose and are searching for ways to get involved in their own mission and make a difference.
  • Those who are holding fearfully to what they have and perceived as security in a time when everything is changing.

Outside of the organizations, you’ll find investors and other stakeholders counting on you to bring the best return on their investment in your organization in a transitional and questionable global economy.

What about customers? They have expectations from you as well, especially the faithful ones and for your organization’s or business’ continuous success you’d better not deceive them

For each individual, regardless of their position, what they don’t like is uncertainty. As a Digital Transformation Leader, you are seen as the change leader and whomever says change, also says uncertainty.  So there is just one thing that they expect from you to start with: Trust!

Can they trust you to bring them to something that could improve their lives? Can you make their organization more successful with your changes?  Can they trust you so that they don’t lose what they have; be it their comfort or position? Seriously, can they trust you with their future, and their family’s future, at all? This is why it’s important to develop your leadership skills and emotional intelligence continuously.

  1. Invest in preparing the individuals in your organization for the emotional disruption that they will face during their transformation.
  2. Create hunger for the transformation in your organization.
  3. Create an attractive and transformative vision for your organization or your team.
  4. Develop more missionaries than employees in your organization.
  5. Digitally enable your organization.
  6. Join our Digital Transformation Leaders community and enjoy much guidance as you lead your organization to transform.

6 Things every Project Manager Must Know About Digital Transformation

Are you leading one or more digital transformation projects? Be ready to embrace a new type of project management with more change-based leadership and individual transformation involvement than you have before.

  1. You must move from the traditional project management triangle and adopt the new rectangle for the project involving change and transformation leadership.

Digital transformation is not about one change but multiple changes that will    create the transformation. Your most effective management of time, cost        and scope can easily be sabotaged by disengaged individuals, making you      look like a novice.

  1. Your team now extends beyond your traditional stakeholders in terms of your competitors, influencers, your clients, their kids, their friends and their little knuckle-head friend on Facebook.

Digital transformation is about innovation and business efficiency.           Innovative ideas are born out of people’s experience, whoever they are. We have moved to a social era where social media trends, shares, and happenings shape our reality and possibilities. You get to use that as an extended resource.

  1. You must and should go ahead and find out about the plan of other leaders in your organization, and it’s necessary to keep an eye on what they are doing.

With the many changes happening in different parts of your organization besides business-as-usual, expect any other ongoing plan to change at any time, impacted by the market, or whatever other factors. You don’t want to be aware of it last or after finding out how it impacted your agreed deliveries negatively. Also change in other part of your organization can impact positively your strategic plan, giving you leverage that you did not have to start with.

  1. Don’t even think of complaining about your plan changing too often. Consider it the standard way. Like in point 3 above, be ready to change your plan, adjust it or reinvent it at any time. Your plan was one of the possible alternatives and should be adopted after proper strategic planning. At the same time, great strategic planning will allow you to choose another previously spotted possibility or to create one from nothing.
  1. The vision is not only for the top executives, as project managers must own the vision as well whether you created it or not. Otherwise you may get sidetracked as you implement changes indefinitely. When you don’t own the vision, it is difficult to engage your team and lead them successfully. Engaging your team gives you the dynamic to create digital transformation successes!
  1. Whether your title has “digital transformation” in it or not, most change and transformation projects in organizations today are related to digital transformation.

That is because digital transformation is not about the technology itself but about improving the business so that it prospers in the digital age. The technology is used as support for making the transformation happen, but the deeper transformation is to be created and maintained by people. When the people experience / leadership aspect is neglected, the organization may get lost in implementing changes and turning in a circle but never evolving. It will be as such until the organization changes its approach or until it can’t survive anymore, and there happens a type of business cannibalization.

Nadia Vincent


Why You Don’t Need a “Change Manager”

You may be surprised to read this from me because of my experience and commitment with change. My point is that the word ‘change’ naturally triggers a resistance or a ‘be careful!’ reaction from people. However, this is not the reaction you are after.

You would want them to excitedly help you implement the change. Instead, the triggered reaction is like:

- “Really? Tell me more about why the hell I should leave my comfort zone and help you with some uncertainty called change? What do you know about your change, anyway? What tells me that you are able to manage the disruption that change brings?”

This reaction is triggered naturally by our brain. As Mark Waldman, world renowned Neuroscientist, said “our brain is made for survival”. Any situation that would take us out of our comfort zone triggers a warning to us. Change is one.

I have a Nigerian friend who told me once in a conversation about change, “The devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know.” An African proverb that says it all about change.

So, forget about the word "change" when you are to announce a transformation and if you can, remove it from your job title and/or the job title of people you work with. You will get better engagement.

Here is the reaction you should aim at when announcing news.

- I have some exciting news for you that will transform things in your work or life! I have an amazing opportunity for you!

- “That’s great! I am excited to know about it. Please, please tell me more. I can’t wait to see how that news will transform my life; please tell me.”

Now you have their attention! What transformation do you wish to offer them? If you prepare well, you are about to win some motivated followers.

In my next article, I’ll show you how to present the transformation, your vision or 'change' to your people so that you directly get them engaged.

M.Nadia Vincent

When Change Divides Previously Harmonious Teams

Change brings chaos at first and sometimes causes division in previously harmonious teams. In fact it happens at all level of an organization. When that happens at the top level of management, the situation is more challenging.

The situation requires for a strong leader to stop in and realign the team. However, you are dealing with people, and the results may vary. They may get along or they may not, depending of team member’s personal objectives and whether they are aligned with the changes.

Two things are important to reinforce at this point.

1. The change goal or mission

It is important to reinforce the goals and bind people with a common goal, a common mission.

2. Trust

Developing trust is a must to positive collaboration.

If the team leader experiences difficulty developing trust in the team by himself/herself, an external consultant or group leadership activity can help best.

Group coaching and team building are great alternatives.

In some instances, if one (or more) person has too big of an ego to the point of causing more challenges than bringing in solutions, sometimes a team reorganization may be the only choice left after having tried the above.

The team leader must accept at a certain point to part ways with a team member who is working against the project goals, else the project goals may be compromised.

When Ego Dominates The Need For Solutions

Change is a challenging experience for most participants and even more for the leader. This is a true story of mine.

Once, I was to help an organization with a challenging innovation project that was delayed for 2 years. The project fell apart during the integration phase. It was difficult to trace the root cause of the main system failure because the team who developed that system had left the company and there was little documentation written for the system.

Still, after about 3 months of solution assessment, data gathering and system monitoring with a collaborative team, we finally identified the broken link. I elaborated the strategy to fix it and presented it to John, the project portfolio manager before I would present it to the project steering committee.

I presented the solution to John with great energy and dedication. He was very focused and listened to me with few interruptions. Afterward, we scheduled a meeting for 1 week later to present the new approach to the steering committee.

Two days later, John informed me that the steering meeting was postponed. Then, a week later, by the coffee machine, another executive tells me, “Too bad you could not make it to yesterday’s meeting. John explained that the team was on a good path but unfortunately it was overrated.”

Before I could discuss the situation with John, I was receiving some last minute requests for menial tasks, followed by many reminders. Next, my working hours were closely monitored and commented on. There was never a good time to present the solution to the steering committee for the priority had changed. But why? No reason was found.

The following week, I was called in for a meeting with John.

“Well Nadia, I know that you are good with providing solutions, but things have changed here, and in this organization, though things are not so well, we do certain things different than your way. Therefore, I must inform you that I have to end your contract.”

What happened, really? The failure came from a development phase that John was leading 2 years ago before I arrived on the project. He was so afraid that the other executives would blame him that he chose to hide the findings as well as the solution.

His decision to conceal the facts has cost the company several hundred thousand euros more than the millions that were engaged and at risk.

John’s ego was bigger than his need for a solution that would have moved the project forward.

As Diana Black says: “Big egos are just big shields to lots of empty space.”

When a consultant is hired, it is to deliver solutions. I did a great job and my greatest satisfaction would have been to see that the solutions I delivered made a difference for my client.

Was it the company culture, a blaming prone environment that made John conceal the solution? Or was it because of John’s insecurity and the size of his ego?

It appeared to be both to me. Therefore it is important to develop transformational leadership and emotional intelligence across the organization so that people accept that errors can be made at any time and that identifying them should not make them feel threatened.

A leader’s greatest satisfaction should be in what he/she leads other to achieve and not of his/her own ego. In fact, great leaders manage their ego to a point that whenever they are entering a room or a building to serve, they leave their ego at the door.

Leaders, can you do that? If not, it can be learned, fortunately.

Change Implementation Disillusion; or the Audacity of Change?

Change Dillusion

Change Dillusion

Just one year ago, I contacted a CIO and proposed my training and coaching service for a large change project that they would implement internationally, with a budget of nearly a billion of euros.

Just for clarity, I’ll name the CIO “Collins”.

Collins assured me that they had the best employees to carry the project in-house, including some external consultant from a well-known company. Some of the leaders were following a change-management training and using a well-known method. Therefore my help would be obsolete.

I explained to the CIO that things may not go as smoothly as he thought and why. To which he said “thank you” and politely turned down my offer to help.

A few days ago, I reconnected with Collins to see if I could help with anything. The first question he had for me was “How did you know all that?”

Surprised, I asked, “May I please ask you to clarify what ‘all that’ means?”

Collins then went on to explain to me how he spent part of his end-of-year holiday thinking about the conversation we had back in the beginning of the year. He first thought that it was pretentious for me to warn him about several pitfalls, considering his 28 years of experience and the caliber of the team and resources the organization had. But now, they were experiencing just what I had warned him about, which caused him some sleepless nights.

Collins asked again, “Did you read about that in a book?”

“No,” I answered, “but I wish I had. More than reading about that, I lived, experienced and studied that. However, I’ve been writing the book that I wished had warned me about that and it will be available in a few months.”

Looking back on my career, a few years ago I was so challenged by two change projects that I decided to challenge change implementation right back. With that I created and developed an outstanding change management and leadership coaching program. Here are a few golden points.

It is never people that are disengaged but visions that are disengaging.
Many highly competent change leaders perform less while implementing change due to high emotional stress and how the human brain functions. They need an outsider coach to perform best. It is scientifically proven.
Matrix organization is economic but with low team spirit, it increases cost as it decreases production.
Two top bottlenecks in change implementation in order of impact are 1: the leaders and 2: the team. Invest in them before the technology and methodology.

Part 2 – Why CXOs Must Shift from Change to Transformation in 2016

Today, some businesses and organizations may think that they are not technology leaders and decide to postpone the implementation of a digital transformation. Such a wrong decision is based on a poor understanding of the power and value of the digital transformation. Digital transformation is not about technology only but about the vision for the business. It is about creating a transformation through the tools that technology empowers businesses with. It is about customer retention, business transformation, business reinvention and business survival. It is not about being a technology leader.

"Digital transformation is not about technology only but about the vision for the business."

Let’s see digital transformation from a customer retention perspective. Regardless of the industry a business is in, it is impacted by digital transformation. Digital technologies give the consumer more choices and authority, and it also empowers businesses like never before.

Social media has changed our lifestyles completely. Not only do we interact more with our global network but coupled with Internet of Things, we are now sharing our locations, activities, experiences, and lives in real time. Internet of Things also allows consumers to better manage their time, save money, accomplish more in less time and feel more protected.

A happy customer sharing his/her experience in real time and with emotion is the most powerful marketing ever. A customer shooting out negative experience is bad marketing but at least offers to the business the opportunity for improvement, as a business can take that same negative comment and turn it into a positive transformation. When considering the speed at which information is shared globally, we can therefore say that customers drive business in a way that was not imaginable before. They are the true business influencers.

Before the digital transformation, businesses relied upon surveys to solicit from clients and potential clients’ data that was not always accurate or real in order to improve business. Now, businesses can access information about the customer’s experience that are accurate, in real time, filled with emotions, related to other areas of a customer’s lifestyle, and provide insight into their personal and professional networks.

The business that neglects such an opportunity is not listening to its clients and not appreciating them enough. That business is clearly telling its clients “we don’t care about you enough to listen to you, so go and have fun with the competition who can waste their time talking and listening to you instead.”

Digital transformation is an opportunity for a business to give the best experience to a customer all while getting more information from the customer, selling more to him/her and his/her community, anticipating the customers next wishes and offering it to him/her before he starts looking for it elsewhere.

Digital transformation is “the” opportunity to:

  • Get closer to customers
  • Improve customer experiences
  • Retain customers
  • Offer targeted products or services
  • Have customers recommend products and services to their networks
  • Sell more to customers and their networks
  • Develop new products and services for clients
  • Reinvent a business that is threatened by lifestyle changes

    But all that can only happen if businesses tap into the power of digital transformation. The technology is only the tool that helps power the transformation and is not the transformation in itself. Technology is a power tool behind business and Digital Transformation is the change that a business undergoes in order to transform and enter in the next technology era.

Here is what will happen when Company A decides to postpone investments into digital transformation, while its competitor, Company B invests into digital transformation now. Company B invested in a well-crafted digital transformation vision and is engaging with and wooing its clients while tapping into Company A’s customer pools at the same time. Company B gathers a large amount of precious information about its customers and their networks and turns this information into sharp business intelligence. Company B, then offers tailored solutions to its customers and their networks.

By the time Company A realizes the massive loss of its customers and starts implementing some type of digital transformation, company B has already moved to the next growth phase and is catering to its customers anticipated needs or wishes while locking them in with irresistible offers.

Now Company A faces a bigger problem. Not only has it lost customers but it is collecting less data to start with and will have to either:
- Invest in offering tremendously more value to the market.
- Reinvent its business.
- Die

The only way Company B may have left an advantage to Company A would be if Company B implemented their digital transformation merely as a fun tech gadget for the purposes of being in style, without a clever business vision and strategy that would tap into the real power of digital transformation.

Therefore, executives must get involved and invest in digital transformation now and do it with a business transformation vision that includes customer retention, but not as a trendy technology fashion. Digital transformation is a must because it empowers businesses like never before, and the businesses that neglect it will regret waiting while the ones who embraced it early enough thrive.

In part 3, I’ll speak more about the business transformation from the inside out.

M. Nadia Vincent

Why CIOs & CEOs Must Shift from Change to Transformation in 2016 Part I

The transformation happening in the technology industry is not just about one or two changes. It is about a series of changes that organizations around the world face at once. The situation requires insightful strategic planning, end to End guidance and coaching as not to put at risk the company’s productivity in the process.

For example, moving to the cloud may be seen as one change happening but in reality, there are multiple changes happening, and carried out in several projects. Along with moving to the cloud, one main project is about security. One recurring security requirement is data segmentations of sensitive and less-sensitive data. Many organization have not completed such segmentation and moving to the cloud is one opportunity to do it. Moving to the cloud may lead to multiple projects such as:

  • Network segmentation
  • Access Control
  • New security and policies
  • New work procedures
  • Data Encryption and decryption
  • Regardless of the chaos all these changes may create in the back office, organization must continue to deliver and keep the business going. No matter the disruption, it must be business as usual. Else, the company may not survive without delivering business.

Furthermore, round the clock production as it is happening on the market today makes time to market even shorter. Therefore not only CIO have to maintain delivery but also, delivery speed must be increased to remain competitive.

As a result, CIOs cannot afford

To focus on one change
Long project delays
People disengagement and resistance to change with their heavy cost and damaging consequences
Communication bottlenecks and conflicts caused by mindset misalignments
Security breach due to neglect and disengagement
Poor collaboration and misalignment between units and center of expertise
Senseless and too complexed processes that does not allow room for empowered employees to course correct and waste time and money.

Instead, they must promote transformation by engaging their organization to

Improve teams collaboration (local, virtual and global)
Deliver quality solutions/project on time
Create a transformed mindset for a transforming environment
Reduce cost related to employees’ disengagement, resistance to change, poor strategic planning, uncalculated risks, rework and poor quality,… etc.
Create and maintain an environment set up to deliver acceptable quality solutions rapidly in the actual business context.
Increase ROI
Transformation is the only solution to guarantee business continuity, productivity, innovation and a healthy workforce in a time of continuous disruption.

M. Nadia Vincent