While you are likely to be passionate about practicing digital business transformation for the organisation(s) you work with, let's be honest, your personal career success is what matters most to you and your family.
That doesn't take anything away from how well you want to perform in your transformation management role, but the personal well-being of you and your family should always come before that of any company. And that includes the lifestyle that your career success can buy your family - because lifestyle comes at a price.
Let's consider some of the most common objectives.
Secure a new transformation management role with another organisation
When you stay in the same organisation for a number of years, slowly but surely you lose touch with the outside world. Your field of vision narrows and you focus more on internal priorities, and less on the world outside your firm's walls. It's like being stuck in a goldfish bowl, and one of the biggest dangers of staying a job too long is that you fall behind what is happening in the wider world. You might read about it but you can't get involved in such initiatives because you're constrained.
Unless your company is very innovative and transformational, it will be difficult or even impossible to give yourself the new transformation experiences you need to grow as a transformation management professional. People in companies that don't transform or change, often get stuck in a rut. They do the same operational activities over and over, with little to challenge them so they don't get to grow.
When people change jobs, they need to work much harder to learn fast in a completely different company than the one they became accustomed to working with. This explains why people who go in and out of many companies, such as consultants, learn so much. Consultants are very comfortable walking into new business situations and figuring out how to navigate the new landscape they've just been parachuted in to help.
You need to demonstrate to hiring managers why are the right person to help them orchestrate their transformation initiatives. What sets you apart from the other people who also claim to be the best candidate Three success factors than can separate you from the crowd are knowledge, experience and certification.
Perform better in a current transformation management role
If you already have a transformation management role inside an organisation, chances are that you have, or will face, your fair share of transformation challenges, because they come with the territory. No one charged with managing or leading transformation will escape the hurdles that transformation puts in front of them, but how we clear those hurdles in the way an athlete can on a track, is what separates the skilled transformation practitioner from the one that keeps falling at every hurdle. Not because of lack of passion, effort or desire to succeed - but because of lack of experience, knowledge, and confidence.
Most large firms are bursting with operational expertise, but this is made up from an entirely different set of skills found in a transformational management professional. The reason why so many transformation efforts are struggling is because of the false assumption made by executives that a senior operational IT or business leader can become an overnight transformation master.
When leaders begin to hear the noise coming from a troubled transformation, one of the first things they do is to evaluate whether the person charged with managing that transformation is suitably equipped. The question of whether or not they are the right person for that role comes next.
This means that those who lack the right capabilities themselves, or the support of a transformation advisor, will eventually be side stepped as executives re-assign responsibilities to a safer pair of transformation hands. So it's vital that people charged with leading transformation, equip themselves with the expertise or support they need to perform at their best and deliver what stakeholders are expecting.
Secure a better transformation management role with current employer
More and more executives are coming to terms with the fact that launching dozens of uncoordinated siloed digital projects is not the route to transformation success. So the search for the right transformation management capability begins inside the company.
Most organisations have been built on operational expertise, and so they are well-staffed with it in all functions. While most operational managers and leaders have spent many years maturing their own operational capabilities, most have little if any experience of transformation. It's fair to say that while most operational leaders with two decades of experience have had a few projects under their wings, few have had the responsibility for orchestrating an entire transformation.
This means that the opportunity for those that are prepared to educate themselves in transformation management are huge. The last thing any firm wants to do is bring in external consultants, so internal staff that are seen to have put themselves through transformation management training and become certified, will have a clear advantage over their colleagues. An advantage that will enable them to work alongside leaders to ensure that all aspec of transformation are addressed.
People who take steps to become educated and certified in transformation give themselves a competitive edge that separates them from the majority of their colleagues. And provided they perform well in their first transformation management role, they will be the natural choice for further promotion as their company becomes more ambitious with their transformation strategy and plans.