Digital Transformation - Ideas for Leaders

Digital Transformation

Build Your Organization's Future for the Innovation Age

About Author/s:

Lindsay Herbert appears to be the 'real thing' when it comes to digital transformation, leading digital change projects globally for IBM. She is a regular speaker on digital change and shares her insights about society’s new relationship with digital technology and how it continues to redefine every aspect of our commercial and human service enterprise.


Digital Transformation' is a common buzzphrase today, that many executives use as a catchall to cover the complexity of what is needed without really understanding what it means. Herbert defines it as "your company's ability to react and successfully utilize new technologies and procedures – now and in the future".

Core Idea

As with most technology issues that organizations grapple with today, the 'technology' is the least of the problem – it is how we, as humans, relate to it and collaborate, or not, with using it that causes the problems.

Herbert's contention is that 'digital transformation' is essentially a mindset change. Do people in your organization embrace and co-ordinate their use of new technologies for the improved performance of the organization? Or, most likely do entrenched processes and slow-decision making due to enlarged hierarchies create internal silos that prevent change from happening. From this perspective, enabling digital transformation is little different to managing any form of organizational change.

Resistance to digital change is usually driven by fear. Staff fear they no longer have the required skills; middle management fear they are being circumvented; sales fear customers will not like new processes; fear of the change process consuming all available resources; fear that it will create imbalances across the organization. None of this is exclusive to digital change though – see Developing Leaders article.

Herbert like all good consultants has created a purposeful acronym to guide you through the DT process. The 5-step BUILD process. Bridge (the gaps between your company, the people it is meant to serve and the changes happening around it); Uncover (the hidden barriers and useful assets and needed resources to allow transformation); Iterate (short cycles, test with real users, improve as you go); Leverage (successes to access greater resources, influence and space – and move towards the innovation mindset); Disseminate (to make thriving in change environments the new normal).


Herbert writes in an engagingly easy to read and accessible style. You can feel she has got her hands dirty with real DT experience. The advice in this book is necessarily focused on digital change, but the essence of it is just plain good management and applicable in many other scenarios beyond technological change.


  • Title: Digital Transformation: Build Your Organization's Future for the Innovation Age

    Author/s Name/s: Lindsay Herbert

    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    ISBN: 978-1-4729-4037-7

    Publishing Date: October 2017

    Number of Pages: 264

Author Knowledge Rating: 1-5 (based on their years of experience, academic expertise in subject areas, and exposure to cross-functional thinking in the area)

Readability: 1-5 score(1=dense and v academic; 5=frantic; page turner)

Appropriate Length: (1=could have been written in 25% of the length;5=could have been longer)

Core Idea Value: (1=nonsense (or entirely esoteric); 5=game-changer)