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You’re Going Digital – Now What?

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You’re Going Digital – Now What?

Enough with the top-down strategizing. Understand how change really happens on the ground – and plan for it accordingly.

MIT Sloan Management Review,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Gain ground-level insights to ensure that your digital transformation takes off and takes hold.

Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Overview
  • Concrete Examples


Leaders approaching digitization need more than theories and high hopes. They need to know how transformation really happens – at workers’ desks and on factory floors. Technology management expert Paul Leonardi brings ground-level insights from 16 years of experience helping companies undertake digital transformations to his eye-opening article for MIT Sloan Management Review. Leaders will appreciate Leonardi’s bottom-up perspectives.


Digital transformations start with gaining buy-in at the ground level.

Theories and approaches for digitization abound, but most leaders don’t understand how digital transformations really take place on the ground. As a result, they fail to provide the leadership that would ensure that the transformations accomplish their goals. By presenting employees with the broad goals and benefits of the transformation, leaders can boost receptiveness and engagement.

Workers decide for themselves whether and how to embrace new technology.

Research indicates that 20% of workers fail to put new technology to use, despite direct instructions to do so. This usually happens because workers determine for themselves that the technology won’t meet the organization’s declared goals for digitization.

At one auto company, the leaders announced the transformation...

About the Author

Paul Leonardi is the Duca Family Professor of Technology Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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