Talk of digital transformation is everywhere\u2014at conferences, at the watercooler, in the boardroom. And organizations are at various stages in the process. Some are appointing a chief digital officer (CDO), while others are looking to their CIO or CTO to lead the way. But successful transformation isn\u2019t about a functional role; it\u2019s a way of thinking.\nChanging perspectives, however, is often the biggest stumbling block to any transformative initiative. In a 2017 Harvey Nash\/KPMG CIO survey, 43% of CIOs cited resistance to change as the top impediment to a successful digital strategy.\nThe good news, according to a recent panel of experts who convened at Microsoft\u2019s Envision conference in Orlando: There are concrete (and softer) steps leaders can take to shift organizational thinking so that digital transformation takes root, and flourishes.\nCommunicate, Extensively \nWhile digital transformation was a core value of Australasia\u2019s National Rugby League (NRL) for two years, simply establishing a value\u00a0wasn\u2019t enough. Changing the culture through education, handholding and taking people on the journey is key, according to Rebekah Horne, CDO of the NRL.\nLeading the digital charge at the NRL required bringing in new people with more technical skills, which in some ways upended the legacy sporting culture that had been in place for a long time. Horne\u2019s approach to smoothing the cultural shift? Getting buy-in from her CEO, which was huge, and communicating the benefits across the business.\n\u201cThe key thing is building a business case and communicating, a lot, what the benefit is to every part of the organization,\u201d says Horne. \u201cYou need to provide the context for the why\u2014business metrics are really important\u2014and how you\u2019re going to do that.\u201d\nBecome an Evangelist\nBoth Nvalaye\u00a0Kourouma, CDO of Barclays Africa Group Unlimited and John Lema, CTO at Elevate by Convene, find that as they lead their organizations through digital transformation, their role is less that of a technologist and more of an evangelist. That requires collaborating and coordinating across business functions (not to mention leadership buy-in).\n\u201cYou're teaching the organization\u00a0that the world has changed,\u201d says Lema. \u201cThat [as with] Moore's Law,\u00a0everything\u00a0is still accelerating, and if you don't change the\u00a0org structure and your business to be on that curve, you're never going to get there.\u201d\nBarclay\u2019s Kourouma found that while organizations all define \u201cdigital\u201d somewhat differently, there is one constant: digital is a mindset. \u201cIt's how you think about your customer, your process, your operation, your tech, your infrastructure,\u201d he says.\nThat means thinking about how to enable instant gratification for customers\u2014something that is almost non-existent in large companies\u2014bringing simplicity to everything, and ensuring that transformation delivers value to the customer and the company. \u201cOtherwise, it\u2019s useless,\u201d says Kourouma.\nBe Inclusive\nDigital transformation requires new skill sets. That can be an opportunity to instill cultural change. Jacky Wright, Corporate VP at Microsoft, leads the organization responsible for driving digital transformation within the company. She is very deliberate in how she builds multigenerational teams that enable transformation. The foundation of that approach: diversity and inclusion, or \u201cDNI.\u201d That includes hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences and hiring outside the norm. (Microsoft has an Autism Hiring Program, for example.)\n\u201cI probably have one of the most diverse teams at Microsoft,\u201d says Wright. \u201cAnd that's by design. Having diversity of experiences, who you are, where you come from, creates\u00a0innovation. Innovation is not created by group think.\u201d\nTo ensure DNI within her team, Wright walks the talk. \u201cYou lead by example and folks know what good looks like,\u201d she said. \u201cFolks know what to expect.\u201d\u00a0\nFor more on navigating the culture of digital disruption, watch the webcast episode, Chief Digital Officer: Does Every Organization Need One?