Transforming the C-Suite

Y Soft Corporation
Martin de Martini
Y Soft co-founder and CIO
Technology brings change, and organizations need to be ready for that change. The C-Suite is not immune to this transformational process. Digital transformation needs strong leadership to plan and manage the process at every level of the organization.

This is the fourth and final article on the impact of Digital Transformation in the workplace.

The challenge of the C-Suite

Digital transformation affects the entire organization, and leaders must ensure that all employees have the knowledge and training they require. One of the challenges faced by the C-suite is that digital transformation is enabling new business models and cost structures. Leaders need to cultivate a digital culture, encourage risk-taking, support ongoing training, and demonstrate flexibility all while keeping focused on the organizational goals.
Leadership teams need to be open and collaborative, while empowering staff to be innovative and learn from mistakes. The challenge of mindset and skillset may include resistance to change, which could be a stumbling block. If leadership teams incorporate digital transformation into all aspects of the organization, the workforce becomes used to it and the challenge of resistance is resolved over time.

How to be a transformer
Below are five ways to transform your C-Suite into digital leaders:
  1. Be a visionary. Have a clear digital strategy which focuses on how technology will address real-life problems. You need a vision for where you are going, how you are going to get there and how it is going to be different. This vision needs to engage the organization and empower employees to play their part in it. You need to have the whole board and leadership team aligned and working together, to own the vision and to lead digital transformation as a group.
  2. Communication and collaboration. From role changes, to job losses, relocations and skill gaps, change is a big area of concern for most employees. There is a need to fully understand the real impact of technology on jobs, in real life situations. A key element of a C-Suite’s role in a transforming organization is to communicate. This is achieved by working together to examine the changes and explain the future.
  3. Man over machine. New technology is exciting, but it is nothing without a workforce. Creating and supporting a digital culture is only possible when leaders successfully support the benefits of new technology and respond to employee concern, instead of ignoring them. You need to focus on serving your staff by empowering them, addressing their concerns and supporting their development.
  4. Model flexibility and risk taking. The future of work will inevitably transform jobs and skill requirements, but we do not know to what extent. To keep up with changing technology and demands, experimentation is needed. The C-Suite needs to model flexible and risk-taking behavior from the top down, accepting that mistakes will be made. This is all part of the process because failure, mistakes and mishaps all play a vital role in helping employees learn and organizations to grow.
  5. Be a learning champion. One-off learning is not enough to keep employees trained throughout their careers. Employees need to have continuous development programs and the opportunities to learn new skills. Upskilling needs to be modelled by the C-Suite, with the board becoming Learning Champions and making development a priority. Such ongoing employee training and development will also show that the organization takes an active interest in the future of its employees and may even help with staff retention.


Digital transformation is not just about the technology, it involves transforming the whole organization, including the C-Suite. A transformed leadership team will be able to understand and deliver digital transformation for the long-term while continuing to deliver in the short-term. Leaders need to develop skills to guide and support their organization into the unknown.

Part 1: What’s your Digital Vision
Part 2: DX: The Impact on Roles and Training
Part 3: Preparing for Digital Change

Martin de Martini
Martin de Martini
Martin de Martini goes by Woodu at Y Soft. He ensures our internal processes make sense across our global offices. In addition, as an innovator and visionary at heart, he sees integration of new and game-changing solutions into established global processes as big fun and a challenge to face. And to broaden his perspective, he also travels to customer sites around the world bringing back the voices of customers to the teams in Prague and Brno.
View all posts by Martin de Martini

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