Making Empathy Part of Your Digital Transformation Strategy

RE-PUBLISHED DUE TO RELEVANCY! EDITOR’S NOTE: Digital transformation is an imperative right now. We’re hearing more and more from clients and colleagues about their challenges as they evolve digitally, both with customers and internally. This blog provides some insights about how empathy plays a crucial role in growth and change.


We recently hosted an in-house lecture event featuring a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker, digital/UX expert Jenni Ross. She shared interesting experiences and inspiration with us, focusing on the big topic of digital transformation. After many years of digitally transforming products and processes at companies in the technology and health care industries, Jenni assured our group that a digital transformation strategy need not feel ominous or overwhelming.

Digital transformation is all about change, and not just changing over from an analog process to a digital one. For people in all levels of an organization, there will be changing goals and focuses as digital transformation takes place. For business leaders, it may mean changing processes to become more efficient and reduce operating costs. For tech people, it may mean modernizing their tech stack and deploying tech for e-commerce. And for marketers, digital transformation goals may consist of changing strategies to meet ever-evolving, digitally driven customer expectations. And according to Jenni, no matter how you’re planning to transform, one element remains crucial — managing the change in a human-centered way.

“Humans are the ones using technology, and we are in the midst of a generational shift … there are the people who have grown up as digital natives and those who are transitioning to new digital ways of doing things,” Jenni explained. “This is one of the challenges that make transformation difficult. But by keeping the human element at the forefront of your digital transformation efforts, I can assure you you’ll be successful.”

Throughout her presentation, Jenni stressed the importance of building empathy and managing change when a company is working on digitally transforming a process, tool or system. She discussed:

  • Empathy for those impacted by the change
  • Compassion in the way you manage the change
  • Communication about new expectations

In addition, she brought a great concept to us that applies to building a digital transformation strategy and many other business situations…


When you’re knee-deep in a digital transformation project, having others work with you and offer their input (even if it doesn’t make the final cut) will help them become advocates of the process and will ease the transition to the new digital initiative. “Be sure to multiply and accelerate your influence by creating advocates,” Jenni explained.

Jenni detailed several ways we can foster empathy and support change management as we work on digital transformation projects, including drawing out ideas instead of just writing them, iterative design, guerilla usability testing, and more.

If you’re looking for more insights to help inform your digital transformation strategy, check out the below Q&A video with Jenni. You’ll definitely walk away with a few new thoughts to discuss with your team. And to learn more about future Mx events, subscribe to our blog and event email list here.