Five tips for surviving digital transformation expeditions

“No walk in the Park”


The digital society is forcing organisations to transform, but a comprehensive transformation is no walk in the park – it’s an extreme challenge along a path strewn with avalanches of unforeseen events and mountains of resistance.

There are lots of similarities between digital transformations and expeditions into the ‘death zone’. On an expedition, you never know in advance exactly what you’re going to come up against; you need to be resilient to overcome difficulties, and agile to deal with unexpected incidents. This same resilience and agility are the keys to success in digital transformations. So look at your transformation like a business adventure that will put your determination, flexibility and teamwork to the test.

But how do you and your organisation become more resilient and agile?


In his lecture at our Academic Advisory Board, INNOCOM colleague Wim Smets

shared five tips that have helped him climb five ‘eight-thousanders’ – the world’s 14 highest peaks above 8000 metres – and also complete countless transformations.


  1. Learn. Train your inquisitiveness by leaving your comfort zone, learning from your mistakes and seeking change. Inquisitive people see an uncertain future as an opportunity, not a threat.
  2. Prepare thoroughly. Inspire your employees with big dreams, specific goals and clear plans – because people who are inspired about where they’re going find it easier to let go of where they are.
  3. Execute. Bring your plans to fruition with hard work, flexibility and determination. Accept the things you cannot change, so you have more energy left over for the things you can.
  4. Work as a team. Build a team by leading by example, and value diversity. Everyone is more resilient and agile, but also more independent from each other, in a well-oiled team.
  5. Manage your risks. Mitigate risks, but also take them, because there aren’t any opportunities without them.

We’re certain to face a lot of change over the coming years and our transition to a global, digital society won’t always be a pleasant process for everyone. But people, organisations and communities that are resilient and agile will fare much better and see much greater benefits.


Interested? Read the book “The only way is up” by  Wim Smets

Do you want to know more on how INNOCOM can help you with your digital transformations?