Digital transformation in the workplace is one of the most important discussions of our era. As organizations of all sizes try their hardest to adapt to an ever-evolving landscape of productivity, digitization, and performance management, digital transformations keep happening all around us.
That is why this is a rather lucky week over here at the Teamflect blog because I had a chance to pick the brains of an expert on digital transformations, the great and powerful Nick DeCourcy himself. We sat down with Nick and had an hour-long conversation on digital transformations, using AI in HR, the inevitable arrival of Microsoft 365 Copilot, and more!
While you can listen to the entire conversation on Spotify right here:
I still wanted to bring to you the part of our discussion on managing digital transformations in the workplace, separately. This is a fascinating topic of discussion and Nick is one of the most knowledgeable voices on the matter. So without further ado, enjoy the best ways to manage digital transformations, from episode 6 of The Team Check-in with Nick DeCourcy.
Table of Contents
Meet Nick DeCourcy
Nick runs a company called Bright Ideas Agency where he assists with and specializes in digital transformation for small businesses. He considers himself pretty technology agnostic, even though he mostly works with Microsoft 365, Power Platform, and Azure.
Alongside being a key voice in digital transformation, he also runs a growing Youtube channel where he gives his audience tips and information on how they can best use Microsoft 365. He is a huge believer in democratizing digital solutions and does his part in making digital transformation accessible to everyone.
Having Difficulty with Digital Transformation?
A lot of solutions are enterprise solutions. And if you’re a small business owner, sometimes you can look at these solutions and scratch your head.Nick DeCourcy
When I asked Nick to tell me about the process of digital transformation in organizations, he decided to start his answer by telling me what digital transformation isn’t and highlighted some of the most common mistakes people make when attempting to go through digital transformations in their workplace: “I can tell you very quickly what it’s not, and it’s not going out and finding the latest trendy app and signing up to that and trying it out for two months and then going to the next trendy app and trying that out for two months.”
Nick’s answer points to the most crucial mistake people make in digital transformations. Over-reliance on software. That one trendy tool isn’t going to elevate your organization to the next millennia.
Instead, Nick suggests a more careful, meticulous, well-thought-out approach to starting the digital transformation of small businesses. This approach goes through asking the right questions:
“Where is there a pain point? Where is there an opportunity? Where can we leverage technology to do better, to make our life a bit easier, to connect with our customers, and to delight them more?“
How does digital transformation work?
As we were having this discussion with Nick, one thing that really started to become apparent was how different our backgrounds were. I pointed it out to him that I came from a literature background, so every time we said the words “digital transformations”, my mind immediately went to Frank Herberts and Asimovs.
That being said, I asked him to describe the process of digital transformation in the organizations he worked with and Nick did not disappoint:
What digital transformation is will look different depending on the organization, depending on what you’re trying to achieve.Nick DeCourcy
As Nick puts it, what he tries to do is to help his customers understand what are the pain points that they can address are and identify some of the reasonable steps that they can take to start addressing them. He explains these steps like so:
“And that may be that there’s a piece of software that can help them. It may be that they’ve already bought Microsoft 365, but they think that Microsoft 365 is just Word and Excel, and Outlook. And they’re not using things like Teams, they’re not using things like Bookings or Shifts. “
He elaborates further on the other end of this spectrum: “At the other end, there might be something that they need that’s very custom to what they’re looking at. That is where I come to with Power Platform. Whether it be through apps with PowerApps or automation with Power Automate or even recently this year – I’ve seen a real uptick in smaller businesses being interested in Power bi, having an awareness that they have lots of data but not knowing what to do with it. So depending on the situation, digital transformation is always going to look different.”
Digital transformation is a journey. You start it and you finish it.Nick DeCourcy
How to pick the right software?
A very difficult element of digital transformation is identifying your own needs. Diagnosing yourself, your own needs, and identifying your own shortcomings isn’t an easy undertaking. I asked Nick about how he guides his customers toward picking the right tools for them:
I think the main thing in my practice is: don’t start with the software. Don’t start by being sold on a piece of software. You can always find ways when you see something exciting. You can always come up with ways to push your business process into a piece of software and convince yourself that it’s going to do everything that you need it to do.
Instead of going straight for possible software solutions for digital transformation, it is a better idea to identify your needs, narrow those needs down, and then pick the right solution for you. Or as Nick puts it:
“When I work with organizations that want to bring on a new piece of software, I start off by saying, okay, we’re going to identify what your requirements are. And those requirements really, we can break down into things that are real requirements, they’re necessary, and things that are nice to have. Once we’ve got those two categories, I like to go really broad. I like to look at what is out there in the market that can help with these kinds of issues.”
It’s far too easy to convince yourself that your needs are what the slick salesmen are telling you your needs are.Nick DeCourcy
So how can you identify the needs or potential future issues in your organization? As is the case with most situations, the answer is often right under your very nose. Why don’t you ask your team? The members of your team can easily let you know what your organization needs and how you can get to them.
One of the best ways to ask your team is by conducting employee pulse surveys. In fact, while we here at Teamflect have one of the best employee engagement survey software for Microsoft Teams, we also put together a list of some of the 20 best pulse survey tools in the market today. Because if there is one overarching lesson to learn from this article is that your needs and circumstances determine which tool can be the best for you.
So Microsoft Teams users! Why don’t you:
Digital transformation is a conversation that we all will keep having no matter how things keep shaking out. Setting the right examples of digital transformation, coming up with the right digital transformation strategy, and changing the definition of digital transformation depending on our needs are things businesses will have to keep doing for a very long time.
Nick was an amazing guest to have on our show. This was only a fraction of the incredible conversation we got to have with him. We will be publishing further posts detailing our discussion but for now, your best bet is to listen to the full episode on Spotify!