There is an old Irish joke about asking directions, that goes something like this:
A tourist in Dublin asks a local “Can you tell me the best way to get to Killarney?”, to which they get the response “Well if I were you, I really wouldn’t start from here”.
In my opinion, it’s less of a joke and more a response from an astute Wiseman.
It is ultimately the problem we all face when driving digital change in our organisations. Defining and getting buy-in for the final destination is critical, but equally challenging is starting from where you are now.
At the end of this article, I suggest a quick-to-use and free assessment tool that will help you to ascertain where you are now and what to focus on, but before we get there let us better understand how you go about developing a clear roadmap.
The first port of call is to take a step back, understand where you are and then plot the best route accordingly. I know that sounds obvious but I still see a lot of businesses running ahead without taking the time to carefully consider their journey and the key areas they should be focusing on. They tend to focus on a project by projects basis (which brings pockets of success), rather than focusing on the 5 core areas that will see true long term digital transformation and with it innovation in the organisation.
The 5 key areas you need to have a strategy for are:
1) Attitude. Having the right attitude towards digital transformation stems from the top down and translating that attitude into a clear vision. In the same way that you need to identify the key evangelists early and leverage their vocal support for change, you also need to be quick to spot the dissenting voices. Spend time with them and look to support them through the change. However, if they will not change and are having a negative impact on the rest of the team it can be poisonous. You then have to be strong enough to move them on.
2) Data. It’s important to grow your capability to gather and use data effectively to enable better and quicker decision making. This relates to market information, project information and general business information.
3) Skills. Having the right skills within your team is mission-critical. This could involve either bringing in new staff or developing your current team. Most digital transformation requires some form of pivoting within your business, either externally to the market with regards to your offering, or more often than not internally in terms of how you work. Either way, you need to evaluate your current team’s capability to make the shift and act accordingly.
4) Tools. Equally as important to have the right skills is choosing the right tools. The advancement in software over the last 5 years has been exponential and having the right tools in place can provide the competitive advantage you need.
5) Process. New skills, new tools and new ways of working will obviously require a change to the process. This needs to be carefully mapped out yet agile enough to shift based on how effective the different methodologies you try are.
All 5 of these focus areas need to be surrounded by a culture of measured learning. That is a culture that tests a hypothesis and accepts getting things wrong as long as the lesson learnt can be applied in order to move forward.
So now you know what we need to plan for, you need to understand where you are in terms of your digital maturity and innovation mindset.
- Does your company operate as it always has, with legacy processes and a legacy view on customers?
- Does your company run pockets of experimentation with digital?
- Is your company mature in some areas such as digital marketing but failing to make the leap in other areas?
- Is your company’s experimentation with digital becoming more intentional. Are bigger initiatives and larger resourcing being allocated towards it?
- Or are you already very strategic in your approach? Maybe you’ve even got as far as seeing true convergence and are playing in the real innovation space.
At WWC we’ve developed a quick assessment tool that takes around 5 minutes to complete and provides you with feedback on where you sit on the digital maturity curve and the areas you need to focus on in order to move forward, truly transform digitally and start innovating.
Try it out for free: