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Q&A with Lisa Bondesio

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Lisa Bondesio , Transformation Director, Programme Director.

Adapting to Rapid Technological Advancements:

In your previous interview, you mentioned the importance of organizations being "change responsive, not change reactive."

Can you elaborate on strategies or methodologies that enable organizations to anticipate and adapt to rapid technological advancements effectively? 


In any transformation, technology is simply a tool. However, successfully implementing and deploying technology isn’t only about selecting the appropriate tools. It requires the ability to anticipate and adapt as change unfolds.  


If you spend significant resources acquiring and implementing new technologies, you expect to be able to realise a return on your investment. Change management is one way to help optimise technology usage because it brings together technology, process, and people – and allows you to plan and track not just how new systems are being implemented, but also whether they are being used efficiently and effectively.  


This is one of the reasons that I advise my clients to build solid change management capability inside their organisation. Too often, transformation is seen as a one-off process, when in fact, it’s continuous.  Being able to manage transformation is an acquired skill, but one that is a vital differentiator, if your organisation is to thrive in a rapidly changing environment.  


Digital Transformation Leadership:

You've highlighted the role of cross-functional teams in successful digital transformations.

How do you see the role of leadership evolving in the context of increasingly complex digital landscapes? What qualities should future leaders cultivate to steer their organizations through digital transformation? 


As a transformation professional, I work with leaders across the globe. As individuals, they are all unique, but there are some commonalities. In my experience, Leaders who can adapt and leverage technological advancement with finesse are usually visionary, collaborative, and curious.  

So, what does that mean?   

Well, firstly visionary leaders need to have a clear picture of how digital transformation can enhance their organisations’ operations, products, and services. They should be able to articulate this vision to inspire and motivate their teams.  They also need to possess strategic thinking skills so they can identify opportunities for digital innovation and align transformation initiatives with the organisation’s overall goals and objectives.  


Second, they should actively foster a culture of collaboration and cross-functional work, as successful digital transformation draws together different departments and disciplines.  This means building diverse teams with complementary skills, encouraging open communication and knowledge sharing.  Digital transformation often involves significant disruption and challenge, so leaders must also be able to manage change, overcome resistance and show empathy to the concerns of their team.  


Finally, curiosity is an underrated trait.  Technology is constantly evolving so while leaders don’t need to be experts in every technology, they should understand digital trends, emerging technologies, and their ability to impact the organisation. So, leaders must be flexible, open to new ideas and willing to experiment.  



The Human Element in Digital Transformation:

You've consistently emphasized the importance of focusing on people rather than technology.

In the post-pandemic world, how should organizations balance the need for digital efficiency with the human aspects of work, such as collaboration, creativity, and well-being? 


Remote work, digital collaboration and automation have all become more prevalent. So too have isolation, employee burn out and poor productivity. In a post-pandemic world, balancing digital efficiency with the human aspects of work is crucial. 


I ‘ve worked with several organisations that actively invest in achieving this balance by offering flexible working arrangements, providing resources and support for the mental and physical health of their employees, and encouraging boundary setting around working hours and staying connected. 


But I still think we have some way to go. Organisations need to think more creatively about the culture they want to create and be intentional about the actions they will take. For instance, creating a culture that values creativity and innovation by providing opportunities for employees to brainstorm, experiment and explore new ideas, digitally or in person.   


While automation can improve efficiency and productivity, it’s essential to know when to differentiate between a bot and a human touch.  Not everything should be automated.  Using automation to streamline processes can open the way for employees to focus on more meaningful and creative work that requires human judgement, empathy, and innovation.  This is as good for employees as it is for customers.  


Organisations that will flourish in future are those who value human-centric leadership, and emphasise empathy, trust, and support - both in-person and through digital channels. These are also the places that will invest in training and development – helping employees with the skills they need to thrive in a digital workplace while also nurturing their personal and professional growth. 



Learning and Development in a Digital Age:

You mentioned going back to study for a post-graduate MSc. as a turning point in your career.

How important is continuous learning and development for professionals in the digital era, and what advice would you give to those looking to upskill or reskill? 


Regardless of age or experience, continuous learning and development remain essential in an era where technology is evolving at light speed, and new tools, platforms and techniques emerge regularly.  Staying relevant and competitive means investing to update skills and knowledge.  


For those looking to upskill in the digital era, my advice would be to identify your learning goals.  Reflect on your career aspirations and the skills you need to achieve them, so you can future-proof yourself against technological disruptions and market changes.  


I’ve said it earlier, but cultivating curiosity is my personal mantra. For me, having a digital growth mindset means being interested in new technologies, trends, and developments. Being flexible in your thinking requires you to embrace challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. And it means you need to be open to exploring new areas of expertise and adapting to changing industry demands.  


Finally, theory is a wonderful thing, but nothing can replace hands-on experience. Don’t be afraid to apply what you learn to real-world projects and practical scenarios. 

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