Starting (and measuring) a digital transformation

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To rise to the challenge and opportunities presented by digital technology and to stay competitive in the face of disruptive innovation, most organisations will have to undergo a period of change – a digital transformation. More often than not, this is cultural change on a grand scale, with the aim of reaching the point where every employee understands digital and sees it as as an integral part of what they do.

In its recent ‘The Future of Business is Digital’ report, Forrester suggested that the biggest transition that organisations face is the shift from a linear value chain to the creation of, what it calls, ‘ecosystems of value’. This entails re-imagining the business as the customer sees it – as part of an ecosystem, rather than as a standalone entity. When they are looking for a solution to their problems, customers will draw on their own collection of  apps, websites, products and digital products, from your suppliers, partners, digital disruptors, other customers, and your competitors, as well as from your brand.

This ecosystem is dynamic and often out of your organisation’s control, but to be successful, you need to embrace it and become a part of it. To do so, you need to focus on two areas identified by Forrester:

  1. Digital customer experience –  provide your customers with value in new ways, and position your products and services in the context of the their value ecosystem.
  2. Digital operational excellence –  use agility and smart sourcing to improve the operations side of your business. Making new external connections is one thing, having the operational efficiency to act on them is another. Your organisation needs to be wired into ecosystems of value, so that it can quickly shift and add new capabilities.

Finding the balance between these two areas is something we help organisations (including TUI Travel and the FT) do at Brilliant Noise. Our digital transformation programmes are built around four key areas:

  • personal development (digital literacy),
  • the digital customer,
  • agile innovation,
  • digital trends.

To help deliver these programmes we have partnered with Do Something Different to introduce an action-oriented component. The Do Something Different model is based on the philosophy that if you do something different you will get something different. We share the belief that doing is more powerful than knowing. This approach has proved to be very effective for lots of people and organisations.

For TUI Travel, we created a programme of personalised challenges, focusing on everything from strategic agility to managing innovation. These challenges, or ‘Dos’ were delivered by SMS and email.

We’ve learnt that digital transformation programmes must be actionable. Giving people information about what they should be doing without a corresponding set of actions can lead to increased stress. We work to the key principle that ‘leadership is action’. We have learnt that small steps at scale can have a big overall impact.

Effective digital transformation begins with digital leadership. We help people to develop the skills to use digital tools and approaches to:

  • lead oneself;
  • lead others;
  • lead the organisation.

This unites a top-down strategic view with a bottom-up ‘bias for action’ approach.

Benchmarking and measurement are a crucial part of all our digital literacy, leadership and transformation programmes. Measurement is key to understanding both how individuals have progressed and now the needle has moved on the business as a whole.

If you would like to know more about digital transformation, digital leadership or how Brilliant Noise can help you meet the challenges of becoming a digital business please get in touch.

Image credit: avrene