Book Review: Transform by Gerry McGovern

Book Review: Transform by Gerry McGovern

Transform: A rebel’s guide for digital transformation is a book that focused on Digital Transformation from multiple angles, some of them unexpected. The author, Gerry McGovern, has been a Web Consultant for over 25 years. Thus he knows the web inside out. His perspective on the recent focus on Digital Transformation is a joint expression of optimism and “rebellious” thinking. His entire book focuses a lot on the need to change the culture.

In the intention of the author, the book is aimed at elaborating the steps needed for a company to transform into a customer-centric organisation. Culture is critical in this, and he advocates for the necessity to implement a new management model to embed customer-centricity truly.

Through a number of examples (some a bit odd to be fair), he shows how urgent the need for change is in many organisations, but also in the outside world. He advocates for a culture change that might involve even countries to enable a truly digital future.

Most of the book concentrates on companies and how management models should evolve. He focuses much attention on the failures of current management practice, and especially on the need for simplification.

Every time you do something that makes things simpler and easier for your customers you build trust. 

Gerry McGovern, Transformation

He also adds many perspectives on customers behaviours, using a lot his personal experience and a variegated set of resources. Trust is observed here as a recurring issue in both management practices and customer behaviour.

Two chapters come out to be pretty positive, as they relate to the concept of Employee Experience. The first is chapter 10, A Map for the Digital Workspace. It focuses on the observation that the author has collected on several works done in the area of building employee intranets and portals. It suggests the structure but falls short on truly identifying this as an experience component. Same for the Business case of Digital Self Service chapter.

He also builds a reference to new organisational models as well as leadership practices. The link to the need for a real Culture Change is clear.

The main focus on the book is however evident in chapter 14: here the author presents the concept of Top Tasks, a methodology based on the success of customers in completing their top tasks (he also refers these as micro-moments). This is similar in terms of concept to that of Moments that Matters, in the sense that these “tasks” are the moment of the relationship between the customer and the organisation.

Conclusion

The book contains several valid ideas and reasonings and points to the right end in seeing the need for a Culture Change for the organisation. Unfortunately, big chunks of the books tend to give a bit of a confused outlook to the reader, risking him to get lost on the way. For example, the part that focuses on the need to have more designers is really interesting and vital (I have already made my case for more Design Thinking competencies), but it is somewhat lost in the book. This said, reading the book is pretty quick, and many concepts are thought-provoking and justify the time spent in the reading.

The Task Methodology outlined in principle is somewhat inconsistent with the aim of this book. Although I understand its intention, it is not a fully refined management model that can encompass an entire organisation.

Big chunks of the book are also available online, through the Medium page of the author.

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Transform in a Nutshell

Transform: A rebel's guide for digital transformation Book Cover
Transform: A rebel’s guide for digital transformation Management Silver Beach Paperback 208 Pages Buy on Amazon

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