We have been discussing digital journeys. You require perfect clarity regarding digital’s demands, the digital vision of your customers, strong leadership, and unparalleled agility. Consistently, I hear that consumers expect the brands they connect with to provide a seamless digital experience in all digital interactions. This applies to all industries, whether retail, information technology, or others, and each has its own definition of digital experience.
One retailer in my neighborhood, Toys “R” Us, was going out of business, while another, Target, was undergoing a change with a new consumer experience. Companies born before the digital age must undergo a substantial transformation to remain relevant, beginning with the digital transformation of small business processes that are essential to the user experience.
We know from experience that in large organizations, on average, resources do not migrate between business divisions. And this is especially true for digital approaches, which require special care. In many firms, project managers lack understanding around what “digital” means in terms of methodology. They misjudge the extent to which digital disruption is affecting their businesses, accounts, and projects. In addition, they disregard the rate at which digital ecosystems are blurring industrial borders and changing the competitive balance. Moreover, responding to digital by developing new businesses and transferring resources away from old ones can be threatening to individual project managers and executives, who may be reluctant to adopt the necessary change.
My experience has shown me that the only way for leaders to overcome inaction is to take aggressive actions to comprehend the following areas:
You should combat change resistance. You should comprehend the customer’s digital journey vision through programmatic initiatives. You should envision a robust digital strategy by evaluating results as you progress. And you should combat the impossibility of knowing – an ongoing challenge given the requirement to simultaneously digitize your core and invent new business processes.
1. opposition to change
Numerous project managers and senior executives lack a comprehensive understanding of what digital is, let alone how it can affect their organizations’ operations or the competitive landscape. That is a challenge. The “shiny object” syndrome occurs when project managers invest in interesting digital technologies without a clear knowledge of how they will generate value for their own accounts/projects. In addition, they are more likely to undertake digital investments that are fragmented, overlapping, or small in scope; to pursue projects in the incorrect order; or to neglect foundational steps that would enable more advanced ones to flourish. Lastly, this lack of foundation limits the rate at which an organization installs new digital technology. In an era characterized by potent first-mover advantages, winners typically lead the pack in exploiting cutting-edge digital technologies on a large scale to advance. It is now perilous to have a superficial awareness of trends and technologies.
Enhance your technological expertise –
Consider the experience of a multinational IT company that understood it had to digitize but lacked confidence in its leadership team’s ability to implement the necessary changes as a model for how to improve the technical skills of your accounts. The organization developed a digital training platform to assist in educating its leadership on pertinent digital trends and technology. On a few issues where the organization lacked sufficient internal experience, training leaders also brought in outside specialists.
The training effort was complemented by an organization-wide assessment of digital capabilities and a company culture assessment. This gave an easily-understandable factual foundation for what the business needs to build during the digital transition. This may assist project managers and executives in acquiring new technological abilities.
2. Understand the customer’s digital journey vision
Being left behind by digital pioneers might be detrimental to the future of your projects/accounts. But many account heads and executives may view responding to digital by placing large investments, launching new businesses, and transferring resources away from old businesses as risky for their own future. If you want to make significant digital advances, you must comprehend the digital journey vision of your customers and combat the dread that your executive team and managers will certainly face.
Successful projects that create a digital client value proposition do not arrive there by mistake. They construct a clear vision of how they will address the digital demands of their clients, establish objectives against that vision, and execute – frequently over a period of years. Frequently, failing projects lack a clear vision of what they want or need to become when they “grow up” digitally.
Plan a programming endeavor –
You must create a programmatic effort with the same care with which you would revamp your accounts’ or projects’ essential processes. This often entails making the case that leaders cannot hide from the changes that technology is bringing and that supporting and speeding change, rather than pursuing it, can create more value. Then, you must provide executives with the tools and support network they need to succeed as the journey’s leaders. Two crucial issues on which all attention should be placed –
First, be abreast of technology trends, which includes staying abreast of key developing technology and changes in consumer technology-related behavior.
Second, develop processes geared to generate portfolios of prospective customer journey ideas for the future. These procedures should enable your account to generate business hypotheses and test them through consumer research. In turn, new ideas can be matched with the vision of how the customer of the future should interact with the brand or business operations, iterating along the route as additional insights are gained.
3. Strong digital approach
An ambitious digital strategy necessitates leaps into the unknown: you are likely to simultaneously move into new fields and implement new technology in existing enterprises. Moreover, in many digital projects, the value of being an early adopter necessitates that you not only change course, but do so faster than your competitors. The mix of ambiguity and the requirement for speed can lead to guesswork and rushed or ill-considered decisions, as well as concern over whether a decision is doomed to fail or merely needs more time; consequently, a robust digital approach with multistage to evaluate outcomes is required.
Examine outcomes as you proceed –
One strategy to combat guesswork is to base your approach decisions on a hypothesis regarding the business outcomes that will result from certain digital expenditures. This is more about drawing quick, fundamental conclusions from the data to assess if your business logic is right. In other words, it entails determining if there is sufficient value to justify an investment as part of the process of acquiring further knowledge. This strategy increases the likelihood of effective implementation: a well-articulated picture of the results allows you to monitor how well the strategy is working.
4. Conflict – Impossibility to Know
We are aware that the majority of firms, including mine, are attempting and struggling to do two things simultaneously: to reinvent the core by digitizing and automating some of its important aspects, for instance, and to establish inventive new digital enterprises. Due to the dizzying rate of digital change and the uncertainty around the adoption of new technologies, the difficulty is severe. Even if the technology for driverless vehicles proves successful, when will the bulk of people start using them? Given the difficulties of knowing, it is simple to develop a haphazard assortment of digital efforts.
True digital success is rarely achieved by offering identical products and services over a digital channel. Netflix has moved its focus from DVDs to streaming. Uber created the largest car service in the world without purchasing vehicles or hiring drivers. Companies that successfully “cross the chasm” to digital effectiveness frequently discover that they must supply for free what they previously charged for, sell as a subscription what they previously offered à la carte, and rethink how they generate income from the value they create. The adoption of a digital strategy or method typically delivers greater scalability, income, and profit than the legacy model, but it requires experimentation, a willingness to assume risk, and – to be candid – some failure along the way.
Today’s executives must persuade their companies, accounts, and projects that a digital strategy, while possibly more difficult than other techniques, is also more profitable – and well worth the riskier bets and cultural changes required to survive and, ultimately, succeed. The digital adversaries you should be most concerned about are not taking incremental moves. Neither can you. However, this does not imply that a digital strategy must be conceived or implemented with less confidence than previous strategies. Approach has always necessitated addressing knowledge gaps regarding complex marketplaces and motivating the leadership team to overcome their anxieties and unwillingness to act.