Change Management WalkMe TeamUpdated December 8, 2021

Change Management Success Stories from the Digital Frontier

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Change Management Success Stories from the Digital Frontier

Change management success stories offer excellent learning material for change managers.

While we can learn from failures and mistakes, successes are better to study.

They show us what to emulate – not what to avoid.

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Therefore, it stands to reason that we should learn from industry leaders.

Below, we have collected several successes from some of the biggest companies on the planet.

For change managers who are serious about honing their skills, these case studies offer excellent study material.

Digital Change Management Success Stories

Digital is a common feature for many of today’s organizational changes.

Digital transformation” is a term frequently used to describe such digital transitions.

It can refer to the adoption of:

  • New digital technology
  • Digitally-oriented workflows and work styles
  • A culture that is customer-centric, innovative, and digitally-centric
  • A revenue model that heavily exploits digital technology

Among other things.

Digital transformations inevitably involve change.

For this reason, change managers should do all they can to become “digital change managers.”

That is, in today’s economy, they should be prepared to lead change, digital adoption, and digital transformation.

Let’s look at some digital change management success stories.


McDonald’s is not a technology company, but it is keeping up with the curve.

Innovation is becoming a hallmark of this fast food joint in a few key areas:

  • McDonald’s hired an Amazon executive as its Chief Digital Officer, the first ever in the fast food industry
  • The fast food giant also grew its digital innovation team from 3 to 130 employees in just a year and a half
  • It has focused its efforts heavily on customer engagement and the customer experience – mobile apps, for instance, allow you to pre-order before you arrive
  • Some restaurants offer delivery through UberEATS

These are just a few of the ways that McDonald’s is envisioning its digital future.

Have these changes paid off so far?

So far so good. After years of mediocre performance, its stock rose 27% in 2017.

And it has been named a top stock pick for 2018.


McDonald’s isn’t the only traditional company to undergo digital change.

Coca-Cola is also innovating with digital technology in a myriad of ways:

  • It is testing augmented reality (AR) inside industrial plants, to connect technicians to remote experts
  • They leverage social media and brand monitoring tools to pay close attention to customers
  • In 2017, the company unveiled an AI-powered vending machine, which uses a bot to collect user information and deliver personalized, two-way communication
  • Coca-Cola’s 2020 campaign will use personalization to deliver “dynamic storytelling” that tells an emotional story at every point of contact with the customer

These are a few examples of how Coca-Cola is adapting to the digital age.

How is it working so far?

While many of these transformations are still in their early stages, many analysts see a bright future for the company.


The Starbucks brand name is synonymous with coffee.

Yet it couldn’t have become a global brand without some serious talent, hard work, and business savvy.

This coffee giant has now applied its innovative thinking to a digital change strategy that every change professional can learn from.

Here are some highlights:

  • Starbucks uses geographic data – such as population density, average incomes, and traffic patterns – to help determine store placement
  • Data also helps Starbucks learn more about customer preferences, location information, and more – which will fuel its ability to deliver customer-centric products
  • The company also uses cutting-edge machinery, coupled with Microsoft’s Azure IoT technology, to prepare for an automated, IoT-powered future

Expectations continue to remain strong for Starbucks’ stock performance.

Given the company’s strong track record, its aggressive global expansion, and its fearless willingness to experiment with new technology and adopt new digital tools, we can certainly expect it to stay strong in the coming years.


Naturally, the overall performance of these companies cannot be directly tied to their digital transformation efforts.

They are simply too large.

However, they are global leaders. And they are investing heavily in digital change efforts, most of which are paying off.

Starbucks has already achieved great success with its digital change initiatives, such as the data-driven business efforts mentioned above. Its app and loyalty program continue to get great results, for instance.

These types of transformations are only set to continue in the coming years, as McDonald’s acquires its own AI company.

As mentioned above, studying change management success stories such as these can help us learn what to emulate.

After all, if a large corporation has tested an idea and continues to implement it, it clearly works.

Why reinvent the wheel?

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