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5 truths of successful leadership in Digital Transformation

The Enterprisers Project
Great change requires great leadership. Use these principles to set the stage for your organization’s digital transformation, rally support, boost morale, and overcome setbacks

By Jay Ferro | August 06, 2020

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Most CIOs today think they have a playbook for digital transformation. Many companies will embrace today’s “technologies du jour” armed with the best of intentions. Why, then, do so many digital transformation initiatives fail? The problem isn’t cloud, IoT, RPA, or any other technology; so many digital transformations fail today because of a lack of leadership. 

The dynamics of a digital transformation are similar to any big change management program or change management philosophy. They require bold, determined, and consistent leadership in order to achieve success.

The following five tenets of leading digital transformation are, by no means, the only principles CIOs should follow. However, these will help you set the stage for your organization’s digital transformation, rally support, boost morale, and overcome setbacks as you work through your program and toward success.

1. Start with the digital transformation’s “why?”

Digital transformation shouldn’t start with only technology; digital transformation should begin with a problem statement, a clear opportunity, or an aspirational goal. 

The “why” of your organization’s digital transformation might be around improving customer experience, reducing friction, increasing productivity, or elevating profitability, for example. Or, if it’s an aspirational statement, it might revolve around becoming the absolute best to do business with, utilizing enabling digital technologies that were unavailable years ago.

[ Is your team tiring of transformation work? Read also: How to beat digital transformation fatigue. ] 

In order for your organization to rally around digital transformation, it needs to be real. If people have never seen a hammer before, you can’t show them a hammer and expect them to marvel at it. You’ve given them no context. What you can do, however, is connect that hammer to more meaningful impact – such as attracting and retaining more customers, improving customer satisfaction from 85 percent to 95 percent, or reducing churn from 15 percent to 3 percent.

Disclaimer: Please don’t use a hammer on your customers or employees. : )

Leveraging digital technologies and infusing them into your business won’t, by themselves, win over your frontline employees. Your “why” – when paired *with* these enabling technologies – will help create a sense of urgency around change.

2. Rally support

Digital transformation isn’t something that any CIO can do on their own, no matter how influential you are in your organization. You can be the best quarterback in the NFL but if you don’t have a good offensive line, defense, and good receivers, you’re not going to win. CIOs need the support of evangelists and change agents. 

Support at the top is clearly critical to your success. However, you must have advocates at multiple levels throughout the organization who are willing to be early adopters and who have bought into your vision. They understand the “why” and what you’re trying to accomplish. They’re willing to own it, be great communicators, be willing to lead by example, and provide transparent bidirectional feedback throughout your digital transformation and your change program. People want to be part of something big; you just have to find them and rally them.

At the American Cancer Society, we named these folks “change champions.” They took great pride in what they represented, and we reinforced that by making their roles critical to our success and recognizing their efforts in meaningful ways, including company-wide recognition.  People *want* to be part of something big; you just have to find them and rally them.

There is very little in the enterprise that is more powerful to driving successful change than a passionate front-line staff that has been empowered to serve the customer and each other. 

3. Communicate quick wins

Now that you have “why” and your change champions, you’re out of the gate. Next, you want to start racking up early and quick wins as soon as possible. You’ll also want to communicate these successes in a repeatable and meaningful way. The reason for this is two-fold.

First, this proves the business benefit of what you’re doing. It helps convert those who might be on the fence, and it shows your ultimate stakeholder they’ve made the right decision by putting you in charge of the program. Second, communicating these quick wins company-wide is also what builds momentum and boosts morale. You want everyone to know that you’re moving in the right direction and that this is working. 

It’s easy to get mired in the day-to-day of a cultural transformation, especially when paired with your operational responsibilities. Don’t let this happen. Hold yourself accountable by wrapping some rigor around how, when, and to whom you communicate those early and quick wins. Create a plan for tracking them and quantifying them. You want everyone to know that you’re moving in the right direction and that this is working. 

4. Expect setbacks

The harsh reality is that you will get sacked as quarterback. You’ll get hurt in the gym while working on your fitness regimen. A technology launch fails. Your sponsor leaves. You lose key resources. These losses will happen because change is hard. Digital transformation efforts are difficult and changing a culture always takes longer than you think it will and is always more work than you thought it would be. When you’re in that valley of despair or trough of disillusionment, remember you have a lot fueling you. IT leaders *love* to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

You’ve already built up a bank of goodwill with your early and quick wins. Continue focusing on that hill you’re trying to climb and acknowledge that this is where leaders are made. This is where you keep forging ahead. You hold your team together and focus on the big picture.

I’ve found it very helpful, in these tough times, to talk to a mentor or a colleague to share “war stories” and bounce ideas. IT leaders *love* to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Take advantage of that and realize that you’re not the first to experience these challenges and you won’t be the last. However, you can be one of the rare leaders who leads their team through the types of setbacks that often doom lesser leaders and their transformation goals.

[ Get answers to key digital transformation questions and lessons from top CIOs: Download our digital transformation cheat sheet. ]

5. Adapt and be consistent 

No one hits the gym once and expects to be in great shape the next day. If you’re consistent in your fitness routine, though, you’ll eventually get there. The same is true with any digital transformation program. You need to be consistent through the highs and lows and constantly adapt. In the gym, you might plateau after doing the same workout routine for too long, and you’ll be required to change it up to “shock” your muscles into continuing development. In the enterprise, you might be faced with new trends or new information. You’ll discover things you didn’t know about in the beginning. Leadership might change. 


Great leaders have the ability to pivot quickly. These “shocks” to your enterprise “muscles” will always happen with the pace of change in our world. If you embrace and adapt, you’ll come out stronger. However, you will need a short-term memory and an unwavering eye on your long-term vision. Failures don’t define you; your consistency, commitment, flexibility, and adaptability define you.

Digital transformation isn’t easy. It’s a long, winding path that begins with “why” it’s important to the organization in the first place. This is the flag at the top of the mountain you’re climbing. It’s what you think about as you rally support and achieve and communicate quick wins. It’s in the back of your mind when you encounter roadblocks and setbacks. It’s what’s on the horizon as you forge forward, and it’s where you’ll arrive as you lead from the front. 

Conversational Implicature Definition and Examples

It’s not what you say, but what you mean

Senior man talking on cell phone, looking out window
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By Richard Nordquist

In pragmatics, conversational implicature is an indirect or implicit speech act: what is meant by a speaker’s utterance that is not part of what is explicitly said. The term is also known simply as implicature; it is the antonym (opposite) of explicature, which is an explicitly communicated assumption.

“What a speaker intends to communicate is characteristically far richer than what she directly expresses; linguistic meaning radically underdetermines the message conveyed and understood,” says L.R. Horn in “The Handbook for Pragmatics.”


  • Dr. Gregory House: “How many friends do you have?”
  • Lucas Douglas: “Seventeen.”
  • Dr. Gregory House: “Seriously? Do you keep a list or something?”
  • Lucas Douglas: “No, I knew this conversation was really about you, so I gave you an answer so you could get back to your train of thought.”

– Hugh Laurie and Michael Weston, “Not Cancer,” an episode of the TV show “House, M.D.” 2008


“The probabilistic character of conversational implicature is easier to demonstrate than define. If a stranger at the other end of a phone line has a high-pitched voice, you may infer that the speaker is a woman. The inference may be incorrect. Conversational implicatures are a similar kind of inference: they are based on stereotyped expectations of what would, more often than not, be the case.”

– Keith Allan, “Natural Language Semantics.” Wiley-Blackwell, 2001


“The term [implicature] is taken from the philosopher H.P. Grice (1913-88), who developed the theory of the cooperative principle. On the basis that a speaker and listener are cooperating, and aiming to be relevant, a speaker can imply a meaning implicitly, confident that the listener will understand. Thus a possible conversational implicature of Are you watching this program? might well be ‘This program bores me. Can we turn the television off?’ “

– Bas Aarts, Sylvia Chalker, and Edmund Weiner, Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2014

Conversational Implicature in Practice

“Generally speaking, a conversational implicature is an interpretive procedure that operates to figure out what is going on…Assume a husband and wife are getting ready to go out for the evening:

8. Husband: How much longer will you be?
9. Wife: Mix yourself a drink.

To interpret the utterance in Sentence 9, the husband must go through a series of inferences based on principles that he knows the other speaker is using…The conventional response to the husband’s question would be a direct answer where the wife indicated some time frame in which she would be ready. This would be a conventional implicature with a literal answer to a literal question. But the husband assumes that she heard his question, that she believes that he was genuinely asking how long she would be, and that she is capable of indicating when she would be ready. The wife…chooses not to extend the topic by ignoring the relevancy maxim. The husband then searches for a plausible interpretation of her utterance and concludes that what she is doing is telling him that she is not going to offer a particular time, or doesn’t know, but she will be long enough yet for him to have a drink. She may also be saying, ‘Relax, I’ll be ready in plenty of time.’ “

– D. G. Ellis, “From Language to Communication.” Routledge, 1999

The Lighter Side of Conversational Implicature

  • Jim Halpert: “I don’t think I’ll be here in 10 years.”
  • Michael Scott: “That’s what I said. That’s what she said.”
  • Jim Halpert: “That’s what who said?”
  • Michael Scott: “I never know, I just say it. I say stuff like that, you know—to lighten the tension when things sort of get hard.”
  • Jim Halpert: “That’s what she said.”

This Day in History: August 11

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Encyclopaedia Britannica

Featured Event

Jackson Pollock

1955 – Jackson Pollock killed in automobile accident. American painter Jackson Pollock, a leading exponent of Abstract Expressionism who received great fame and serious recognition for his radical poured, or “drip,” technique, died this day in 1956 in an automobile accident.

police in Watts, 1966

1965 – Race riots erupted in the Watts district of Los Angeles, resulting in the deaths of 34 people.


1919 – The Weimar constitution was formally declared, establishing Germany as a republic.

Overcoming and Growing From Setbacks

Developing Resilience

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Developing Resilience - Overcoming and Growing from Setbacks

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Find the strength to keep going.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

– American inventor, Thomas Edison

According to legend, Thomas Edison made thousands of prototypes of the incandescent light bulb before he finally got it right. And, since the prolific inventor was awarded more than 1,000 patents, it’s easy to imagine him failing on a daily basis in his lab at Menlo Park.

In spite of struggling with “failure” throughout his entire working life, Edison never let it get the best of him. All of these “failures,” which are reported to be in the tens of thousands, simply showed him how not to invent something. His resilience gave the world some of the most amazing inventions of the early 20th century, such as the phonograph, the telegraph, and the motion picture.

It’s hard to imagine what our world would be like if Edison had given up after his first few failures. His inspiring story forces us to look at our own lives – do we have the resilience that we need to overcome our challenges? Or do we let our failures derail our dreams? And what could we accomplish if we had the strength not to give up?

In this article, we’ll examine resilience: what it is, why we need it, and how to develop it; so that we have the strength and fortitude to overcome adversity, and to keep on moving forward towards our dreams and our goals.

The Importance of Resilience

Resilience (or resiliency) is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned. Resilient people don’t wallow or dwell on failures; they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward.

According to the research of leading psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three elements that are essential to resilience:

  1. Challenge – Resilient people view a difficulty as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from, and as opportunities for growth. They don’t view them as a negative reflection on their abilities or self-worth.
  2. Commitment – Resilient people are committed to their lives and their goals, and they have a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning. Commitment isn’t just restricted to their work – they commit to their relationships, their friendships, the causes they care about, and their religious or spiritual beliefs.
  3. Personal Control – Resilient people spend their time and energy focusing on situations and events that they have control over. Because they put their efforts where they can have the most impact, they feel empowered and confident. Those who spend time worrying about uncontrollable events can often feel lost, helpless, and powerless to take action.

Another leading psychologist, Martin Seligman, says the way that we explain setbacks to ourselves is also important. (He talks in terms of optimism and pessimism rather than resilience, however, the effect is essentially the same.) This “explanatory style” is made up of three main elements:

  • Permanence – People who are optimistic (and therefore have more resilience) see the effects of bad events as temporary rather than permanent. For instance, they might say “My boss didn’t like the work I did on that project” rather than “My boss never likes my work.”
  • Pervasiveness – Resilient people don’t let setbacks or bad events affect other unrelated areas of their lives. For instance, they would say “I’m not very good at this” rather than “I’m no good at anything.”
  • Personalization – People who have resilience don’t blame themselves when bad events occur. Instead, they see other people, or the circumstances, as the cause. For instance, they might say “I didn’t get the support I needed to finish that project successfully,” rather than “I messed that project up because I can’t do my job.”

In our Expert Interview with Dr. Cal Crow

, the co-founder and Program Director of the Center for Learning Connections, Dr. Crow identified several further attributes that are common in resilient people:

  • Resilient people have a positive image of the future. That is, they maintain a positive outlook, and envision brighter days ahead.
  • Resilient people have solid goals, and a desire to achieve those goals.
  • Resilient people are empathetic and compassionate, however, they don’t waste time worrying what others think of them. They maintain healthy relationships, but don’t bow to peer pressure.
  • Resilient people never think of themselves as victims – they focus their time and energy on changing the things that they have control over.

How we view adversity and stress strongly affects how we succeed, and this is one of the most significant reasons that having a resilient mindset is so important.

The fact is that we’re going to fail from time to time: it’s an inevitable part of living that we make mistakes and occasionally fall flat on our faces. The only way to avoid this is to live a shuttered and meager existence, never trying anything new or taking a risk. Few of us want a life like that!

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Instead, we should have the courage to go after our dreams, despite the very real risk that we’ll fail in some way or other. Being resilient means that when we do fail, we bounce back, we have the strength to learn the lessons we need to learn, and we can move on to bigger and better things.

Overall, resilience gives us the power to overcome setbacks

, so that we can live the life we’ve always imagined.

Build Your Resilience in the Workplace

The good news is that even if you’re not a naturally resilient person, you can learn to develop a resilient mindset and attitude. To do so, incorporate the following into your daily life:

and exercise, and learn to manage stress. When you take care of your mind and body, you’re better able to cope effectively with challenges in your life. Practice thought awareness. Resilient people don’t let negative thoughts derail their efforts. Instead, they consistently practice positive thinking. Also, “listen” to how you talk to yourself when something goes wrong – if you find yourself making statements that are permanent, pervasive or personalized, correct these thoughts in your mind. Practice Cognitive Restructuring to change the way that you think about negative situations and bad events. Learn from your mistakes and failures. Every mistake has the power to teach you something important; so don’t stop searching until you’ve found the lesson in every situation. Also, make sure that you understand the idea of “post-traumatic growth” – there can be real truth in the saying that “if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.” Choose your response. Remember, we all experience bad days and we all go through our share of crises. But we have a choice in how we respond; we can choose to react negatively or in a panic, or we can choose to remain calm and logical to find a solution. Your reaction is always up to you. Maintain perspective. Resilient people understand that, although a situation or crisis may seem overwhelming in the moment, it may not make that much of an impact over the long-term. Try to avoid blowing events out of proportion. If you don’t already, learn to set SMART, effective personal goals – it’s incredibly important to set and achieve goals that match your values, and to learn from your experiences. Build your self confidence. Remember, resilient people are confident that they’re going to succeed eventually, despite the setbacks or stresses that they might be facing. This belief in themselves also enables them to take risks: when you develop confidence and a strong sense of self, you have the strength to keep moving forward, and to take the risks you need to get ahead. Develop strong relationships with your colleagues. People who have strong connections at work are more resistant to stress, and they’re happier in their role. This also goes for your personal life: the more real friendships you develop, the more resilient you’re going to be, because you have a strong support network to fall back on. (Remember that treating people with compassion and empathy

  • is very important here.)
  • Focus on being flexible. Resilient people understand that things change, and that carefully-made plans may, occasionally, need to be amended or scrapped.

Key Points

Resilience is the ability to bounce back when things don’t go as planned. According to psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three main elements that resilient people possess. These are challenge, commitment, and control.

You can develop resilience in several ways. First, take care to exercise regularly and get enough sleep, so that you can control stress more easily. The stronger you feel physically and emotionally, the easier it is for you to overcome challenges.

Focus on thinking positively, and try to learn from the mistakes you make. Build strong relationships with colleagues and friends, so that you have a support network to fall back on. Also, set specific and achievable personal goals that match your values, and work on building your self-confidence.

TikTok: China’s Trojan Horse to Indoctrinate America

At the moment, ByteDance is in negotiations with Microsoft and Twitter to sell TikTok. Yet a sale will not by itself end the threat. Any new owner will have to go over line after line of code to insulate TikTok from Chinese interference. Even an

Source: TikTok: China’s Trojan Horse to Indoctrinate America

Without Authority, There Is No Freedom

Dr. Ben Carson offers some badly needed wisdom when he speaks about the vandalism, looting, and other forms of anti-social behavior that seem to be escalating in the United States. The remedy to the problem, he states, lies within the family. Unfortunately, “it is almost politically incorrect to talk about family values,” he told Fox …

Source: Without Authority, There Is No Freedom – Crisis Magazine

The FDA Killing Tens of Thousands Americans by Refusing Physicians’ Request to Approve Outpatient use of HCQ?

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn appearing at the White House with President Donald Trump and Deborah Birx.

by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

We can add another bureaucrat politician “doctor” to the list of mass murderers running America today: Dr. Stephen Hahn, Trump’s hand-picked man who serves as the Commissioner of the FDA.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has stated that the FDA’s delay to issue a new emergency use approval for outpatient use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for COVID-19 killed at least 20,000 Americans in July.

20,000 more Americans have died while the FDA has delayed since July 1 a new emergency use approval for outpatient use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for COVID-19.

On July, 1 Henry Ford Hospital physicians and researchers in Detroit filed an urgent request to FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn for a new outpatient Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for FDA approval of HCQ to be used in early treatment for COVID-19.  Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Institute in Dallas, issued an urgent appeal supporting the Henry Ford EUA application, based on their clinical study of prophylactic use of HCQ in their own medical workers. Baylor cardiologists emphasized there were no adverse cardiac outcomes in their own or the Ford study.

Henry Ford’s new clinical trial found an impressive 51% reduction in deaths if HCQ was begun within 24 hours of admission to hospital. An outpatient primary care study by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, using HCQ, azithromycin and zinc given within less than 7 days of COVID-19 symptoms, showed approximately 80% decrease in deaths, and less than 1% of his patients needed to be admitted to hospital. These U.S. early intervention studies extraordinary results show how many lives can be saved with early HCQ treatment.

If the FDA had acted quickly on the Henry Ford and Baylor approval request for HCQ, we can reasonably consider that 16,000 lives could have been saved since July 1.

EUA applications do not have to take long to approve, when well documented rationale and supporting research is presented as Henry Ford team and Baylor cardiologists did.

HCQ is already an FDA-approved drug, unlike remdesivir, which had almost an immediate compassionate use authorization granted that has now been expanded for early use despite severe side effects. The former director of the FDA subagency BARDA, Rick Bright, Ph.D., submitted an EUA for HCQ approval for hospital use at 11:30 pm on March 28, 2020. Dr. Hahn’s approval was granted a little after midnight, March 29, 2020. Approval in about 30 minutes.

We have been waiting almost 30 days for Dr. Hahn to issue approval of the Henry Ford EUA application for outpatient use. Dr. Hahn has stated that we need more data. Henry Ford and Baylor doctors have already provided research documentation stronger than in Rick Bright’s March application, and included current COVID-19 studies from the U.S. and other countries.

What amount of “data” will ever satisfy Dr. Hahn?

Let THIS sink in: Laboratory studies published by the National Institutes of Health 15 years ago (2005) showed potent antiviral effects of chloroquine against SARS-CoV-1 to block the infection at the earliest stage. Anthony Fauci, who was working at NIH at that time, has to have known for the last 15-18 years that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are effective against SARS-Co-V-1, which shares 79% of the viral genome with SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19 disease.

It is appalling that so many more Americans have died, while the physician who is head of the FDA has dawdled on approving HCQ for an urgent new use in this pandemic. Dr. Hahn knows full well the 65-year track record of safety worldwide in patients of all ages, all ethnic groups, and even pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Continued shutdowns of businesses, schools, churches, and mandatory mask edicts are not controlling the epidemic. Meanwhile, these orders have eroded our constitutional freedoms, and devastated our economic, psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Dr. Hahn’s FDA is costing more lives with its delay in removing the obstructions it created to prescribing safe, effective early HCQ treatment: deaths directly from COVID-19 and indirectly by destroying livelihoods and distributions of foods, goods and services required to sustain our lives. (Source.)

Dr. Hahn and the FDA now control the lives and potential future deaths of MILLIONS of Americans, as it will be his decision to issue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for fast-tracked COVID vaccines which we now know are not even needed.

We now know that COVID is very treatable and can be cured 100% of the time.

We don’t even have an accurate test that can 100% identify a Sars-Cov-2 virus!

So just removing the fear from what is advertised as a “killer virus” by assuring patients that they are going to be fine and not die because there are effective treatments, might account for 90% or more of these success stories!

The FEAR of COVID has to be a major cause of illness among those who are reportedly dying and suffering from COVID. Just by removing the fear alone, death rates are probably drastically diminishing.

When the Fontline Doctors gave their press conference in Washington D.C. a couple of weeks ago, the first thing Dr. Simone Gold said was:

We are here to tell the public that there are cures, and you do not have to be afraid anymore.

This was a deliberate statement from a medical doctor who knew full well what she was saying and doing, and the corporate media and Big Tech did everything they could to silence her and her group’s message.

Alternative non-drug solutions to COVID suffering patients have proven very successful, such as Vitamin C therapy which was immediately used in China just after the announced outbreak with great success. Doctors in the U.S. who used this therapy and other natural therapies, particularly in the tyrannical state of Michigan, were arrested and shut down and silenced.

And now even doctors using an FDA approved drug, hydroxychloroquine, are also being attacked and silenced.

HCQ Should be Over-the-Counter

Since Health Impact News has historically exposed the dangers of pharmaceutical products and published alternative treatments for health, some have criticized us for publishing so much information about HCQ since it is a pharmaceutical product.

But HCQ originates from a specific kind of tree bark, and should not even be regulated by the FDA, but sold “over-the-counter” like a supplement, as it currently is in many countries.

And while I myself would not take this product or recommend it to people, as there are other natural therapies just as effective if not more effective, the sad fact is that the masses in the U.S. still trust their doctors and the medical system, and therefore this is the best product available to the masses who are too lazy to do their own research and take their own responsibility for their own health.

Should the penalty for their ignorance and blind trust in medicine result in their mass murders?

The story of hydroxychloroquine will probably go down in history as one of the worst scams of all time, resulting in the deaths of millions, if not hundreds of millions of people.

Will the American public ever wake up and start resisting the Satanic overthrow of the United States?