Leader of a company with 3,000 employees in 350 cities and 14 countries, Telmo believes that the main challenge of digital transformation is to engage people in organizational change processes – Photos: Júlio Cordeiro / Especial RF
The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated digitization in organizations, forced to quickly implement and guarantee the operation of new processes to not only relate to employees, but to reach customers. However, there is still much to be done. Digital transformation demands complex initiatives – but possible, with a consolidated organizational culture and method – that go beyond technological solutions, and are linked to humanization: the engagement of people to promote changes in the organization.
Initial data from an unprecedented survey conducted with more than 80 large companies by Meta, one of the main technology and innovation companies in Brazil, focused on digital transformation, in partnership with Dom Cabral Foundation (FDC), point in that direction. According to National Study on the Evolution of Business and Digital Innovation, 67% of executives responded that the main challenge of digital transformation is not technology, it is organizational culture. Furthermore, 55% said that the challenge is the creation of a strategic vision for innovation, and not the technological development itself, according to preliminary information released at the end of 2022.
“Promoting digital transformation in the organization requires zeal with reputation”, adds Telmo Costa, CEO and founder of Goal. One of the main leaders of digital transformation in the country, Telmo says that digital transformation and reputation go hand in hand and are integrated. “One helps to consolidate the other”, he explains, since, according to him, at the base of the objectives of digital transformation, such as conquering new markets and consumers, retaining talent, scaling business, is reputation. He warns that it is essential that the process is associated with concrete business objectives and generates a process of natural evolution in the organization.
Check out, below, the main excerpts from the interview that Telmo gave to the Reputation Feed, in person, in Porto Alegre, at one of Meta's offices, a company that had, from 2018 to 2022, an average growth of 50% per year, and has 3 thousand employees in 350 cities and 14 countries.
digital transformation concept
“Digital transformation is accelerating the process of transforming traditional business models or consolidated market models to quickly change the company in order to adapt to a consumer or employee who daily changes his way of relating to it. The digital transformation allows the company to work quickly to reorganize the structure, based on new technologies that stimulate the process and provide more information about the stakeholders. Digital transformation, then, is the ability to work on the evolution of models, adapting them to faster cycles of new business opportunities.”
Technology, people, organizational model and result
“Digital transformation is also technology, but it is not just technology. Digital transformation is about people. It's the people who change, deliver results, associate with a single goal and work as a team. It is the people who lead the transformation process. A model of business management and organization is needed that makes these people able to work in teams with common goals. Finally, it is essential to be clear about the purpose of the digital transformation. What is the organization's challenge: to generate results. So, we have people, at the base of the transformation process; technology, enhancing everything; and the organization models making the process work to generate a result.”
Engagement through reputation
“The objective of digital transformation is to conquer a new market, expand the organization, reach new consumers, relate in a different way, unite generations in the organization, retain talent. The basis of all this is reputation. You can't retain people without a reputation. You can't scale business if you don't have a reputation. There is no point in launching new products if the reputation is not adequate. Reputation underpins the entire process and is a pillar in parallel with the digital transformation. Promoting digital transformation in the organization requires zeal with reputation. It is necessary to guarantee that the commitments assumed are delivered, that the product is coherent with the organization and with the public, and, progressively, to evidence the reputation so that new publics perceive the commitments assumed and delivered. Digital transformation and reputation go together and are integrated. One helps to enable and consolidate the other.”
“Reputation is a support base for the whole process”
“With the pandemic, companies were forced, in a short period of time, to accelerate their digitization process. There were a series of contingencies in relation to what people could or could not do, insecurity, fear, and companies needed to reposition themselves to ensure that people continued to relate to organizations. Digitization came at a speed up to 2019-2020, and from 2020, 2021 and 2022 there was an acceleration of digital transformation, with new communication channels, new ways of selling, delivering the product, relationships with companies, and , also in labor relations. Organizations had to adapt in order to continue operating and be able to transform.”
profiles in transformation
“We noticed four profiles of companies in relation to digital transformation:
• The first is the company that believes in the model it has always used for doing business, which continues to relate in the same way with its stakeholders.
• The second is that of the organization that adopted the digital evolution by imposition or demand, either by the market or by the characteristics of the business, not because it really believes in transformation.
• The third profile is that of the company that was already a leader in its segment and realized that digital transformation could be the next step in its leadership.
• And, finally, the fourth type of company is the one that was born digital.”
Opportunities and obstacles
“Each of these companies has a big challenge:
• The first has to continue in a traditional model without losing market, without losing consumer, without losing employee.
• The challenge for the second type of company is to measure how much it is willing to invest in something that it does not believe in and that may not generate results precisely because of the lack of belief in this process.
• The third, which was already a leader, will become even stronger, as it sees digital as an opportunity to reinvent its business model. Before losing leadership and being threatened, it reinvents the business through digital.
• And the fourth, the company that was born digital, also has a big challenge, which is to prove that its business model scales.”
“The moment is to accelerate and differentiate from others. The digital transformation will mean increased competitiveness”
Lighthouse for 2023
“In the scenario we live in in 2023, companies need to ensure that the digital transformation is increasingly aligned with the delivery of the company's results. The digital transformation improves operational efficiency, provides a great differential for the organization's positioning and generates new forms of value within the organization for customers and employees. At times like this, many people step on the brakes. But I think it's time to step up and differentiate from competitors, very similar to the pandemic, when digital transformation meant survival for some organizations. Now, it will represent the same thing: the survival or otherwise of the organization, increased competitiveness, the creation of new competitive advantages, a way to position itself differently, capture more customers, increase business diversification and reach new markets. ”
“I believe that digital transformation is reinforced by at least three trends or their continuity. the generation of data in volume and speed is nothing new, but the demand is growing to know customers and employees better and better, understand their profile, to adapt the operation to the needs of that customer or employee. The idea is to increasingly be able to create products and services that make sense to the public. A artificial intelligence, combined with data to increase assertiveness, also comes along this line to contribute to the entire decision-making process. And also the quantum computing, with applications to accelerate the flow of information with 5G allowing even more mobility for people and organizations.”
“The transformation does not belong to the company, but to the people. People taking ownership of the digital transformation and seeing it as an opportunity to transform themselves within the organization”
“You have to keep moving forward, not think you're ready. The market reinvents itself all the time, things change, and digital transformation needs to be a permanent journey. We need to incorporate a culture of learning and relearning into companies, faster every day, and always connected to business objectives and the needs of that cycle of the journey. In other words: we need a concrete, objective journey that is very clear where we want to go. In addition, people must be engaged. The transformation does not belong to the company, but to the people. People taking ownership of the digital transformation process and seeing it as an opportunity to transform themselves within the organization.”
Christianne Schmitt is editor of the Reputation Feed