The big “L” is always present when there is a discussion around change and roadblocks that need to be overcome. The question is, what kind of legacy is the most relevant one and should be addressed as a priority? Technology, cultural, business model or management? Instead of writing a lengthy article to share learnings and thoughts concerning the different types of legacies and their relevance in the transformation of a company, I choose to represent them using a mathematical formula.
It is actually very simple. We can group legacies into 2 main groups: Leadership Legacy (LL), which aggregates management, cultural and business model, and Technology Legacy (TL). I call the combination of both legacies “Comprehensive Legacy” (CL) which stands for the overall legacy impacting a business.
Let’s now add to CL the actual relevance of change.
Change in CL = TL^L
Change in CL is the result of the change in Technology Legacy (TL) to the power of change in the Leadership Legacy (LL).
Should we test the formula? The bigger the number, the larger the impact applied to the overall business. Let’s take 2 scenarios where we have $9 to invest:
1. In the first case, we invest $3 in changing the TL (Technology Legacy) and $6 in changing LL (Leadership Legacy).
2. In the second case, we use our resources the opposite way, where we invest $6 in changing TL and $3 in LL.
Applying the formula, we get the following results:
1. 3(TL)^6(LL) = 729
2. 6(TL)^3(LL) = 216
This formula shows that companies that decide to invest important resources in changing technology, while paying less attention to the comprehensive needs of change (culture, management, and business model), will not achieve the expected results. On the contrary, companies that devote their efforts and resources in truly changing their business model, customer engagement, innovation, organizational culture and technology will actually see better results in less time.
Technology is a driver and enabler for progress, but a comprehensive and successful digital transformation is a direct product of deliberate digital strategies. When thinking about digitally transforming a business and driving real results, the most important change and focus should be in investing in its leadership legacy.