The fifth episode in Tech Alpharetta’s Driving Innovation podcast series explores transformative leadership and digital transformation. Felipe Smolka shares his experiences and tips for successful transformations. Felipe is LeasePlan USA’s executive vice president and digital transformation leader in the U.S. and he is the chairman of the board for Tech Alpharetta.
Digital transformation is not just about adopting the latest, greatest technology. Instead, Smolka explains that it should be an opportunity to achieve acceleration in your business by leveraging different technologies.
Real transformation produces dramatic change in your business. “Transformation happens in many different forms,” says Smolka, and he adds later that there is no such thing as a short-term transformation – it is a constant activity for successful companies. Typically, transformations are a way to reposition a company to either find new growth opportunities or lockdown competitive advantages to give your business sustainability in the future.
The first thing a transformative leader does is understand the “as is” situation. They understand where the company is today, the core competencies, its resources, the culture, etc. Smolka uses the five C’s for this analysis – customers, company, collaborators, competition, and context to support some of the early discovery process.From there, transformative leaders come up with several scenarios and find the best way to reach the vision of the business’s future state. Ultimately, this will become your business strategy. Transformative leaders have the ability to influence and understand how to shape these plans and execute them in the long term.
“If you don’t have a good plan, a good alignment strategy at the executive level, digital transformations will have a very short life,” Smolka explains. Buy-in at every level is important. It is the first step, and a continuous process. “It’s beyond selling – it’s believing that there is a better place for the company.”
Listen to learn more about Smolka’s advice and guidance on becoming a transformational leader, successful transformations Smolka has been a part of, and much more.