We’ve been talking about the digital journey. The old uncertain approaches won’t work; you need absolute clarity on digital demands, digital customer insight, strong leadership, and unprecedented agility. If there’s one theme I hear constantly, it’s that consumers expect the brands they interact with to deliver a flawless digital experience in their interactions. That goes for every kind of industry, be it retail, information technology or something else, and they all have their own way of defining the digital experience.

Recently I have seen few stores in my locality, one was closing (Toys”R”Us) and another was heading towards transformation (Target) with a new consumer experience. The reason for bankruptcy could be different, but mainly, companies born before the digital age must transform substantially to remain relevant and start with the digital transformation of small business processes that are the key consumer experience.

We know this from experience, on average, resources do not move between business units in large organizations. And this is doubly true for the digital approach, which demands special attention. Project managers in many organizations lack clarity about what “digital” means for focus. They underestimate the degree to which digital is disrupting their businesses, accounts and projects. They also overlook the speed with which digital ecosystems are blurring industry boundaries and shifting the competitive balance. Furthermore, responding to digital by creating new businesses and siphoning off resources from old ones can be a threat to individual project managers and executives, who may therefore be slow to adopt the necessary change.

In my experience, the only way leaders can eliminate idleness is to take bold steps to understand the areas below:

You must fight resistance to change. You must understand the customer’s view of the digital journey through programmatic efforts. You should consider a strong digital approach when inspecting the output on the go. And it must fight against the impossibility of knowing, a constant challenge given the simultaneous need to digitize its core and innovate with new business processes.

1. Resistance to change

Many project managers and senior executives don’t fully master what digital is, let alone aware of the ways it can change the way their businesses operate or the competitive landscape. That is challenging. Project managers who are not digitally savvy are much more likely to fall victim to the “shiny object” syndrome: investing in cool digital technologies without a clear understanding of how they will drive value to their own accounts/projects. They are also more likely to make fragmented, overlapping, or subscale digital investments; carrying out initiatives in the wrong order; or skipping basic movements that would allow the success of more advanced ones. Ultimately, this lack of grounding slows down the rate at which a business implements new digital technologies. In an era of powerful first-mover advantages, winners often lead the pack in leveraging cutting-edge digital technologies at scale to further advance. Having only a corrective understanding of trends and technologies has become dangerous.

Improve your technology skills –

For inspiration on how to increase the collective technology skills of your accounts, consider the experience of a global IT company that knew it had to go digital, but didn’t think its leadership team had the expertise to drive the necessary changes. The company created a digital training portal to help educate its leadership on relevant digital trends and technologies. Training leaders also brought in outside experts on some topics the company lacked enough internal expertise to address.

To complement the training effort, an assessment of the digital capabilities of the entire organization and an assessment of the company’s culture were carried out. This provided a factual foundation that everyone could understand about what the organization needed to build on over the course of digital transformation. This can help project managers and executives prepare for new technology skills.

2. Understand the customer’s view of the digital journey

Being left behind by digital pioneers can be dangerous for your future projects/accounts. But many of the CFOs or executives may perceive that responding to digital – making big bets, building new businesses, diverting resources from old ones – is dangerous to their own future. If you want to make big digital moves, you need to understand the customer’s view of the digital journey and fight the fear that your senior team and managers will inevitably experience.

Projects that succeed in creating a digital customer value proposition don’t get there by accident. They develop a clear vision of how they will meet their customers’ digital needs, set goals against that vision, and execute, often over the course of several years. Oftentimes, unsuccessful projects simply haven’t painted a clear picture of what they want, or need, to be when they “grow up” digitally.

Design a programmatic effort –

You should design a programmatic effort with the same rigor that you would insist on redesigning key processes in your accounts or projects. This typically involves clearly demonstrating that executives can’t hide from the digital changes they’re bringing and that encouraging and accelerating change, rather than chasing it, can create more value. Then you need to give executives the tools and support network they need to be successful as leaders of that journey. Two important points to which the entire approach should be directed:

First, stay on top of technology trends, including staying informed about relevant emerging technology and changes in consumer behavior around technology.

Second, establish processes designed to generate pipelines of potential ideas for the future state of the customer journey. These processes should allow your account to create business hypotheses and examine and test them through customer research. In turn, the new ideas can be aligned with the vision of how the customer of the future should interact with the brand or business processes, iterating along the way as more learnings are gained.

3.Strong digital focus

Following an aggressive digital approach means taking a leap into the unknown: At the same time, you’re likely to be moving into new areas and patching up existing businesses with new technologies. Furthermore, in many digital projects, first-mover advantage makes it necessary to not only change direction, but also do it faster than your peers. The combination of ambiguity and the need for speed sometimes leads to guesswork and moves that are rushed or poorly thought out, and to anxiety about whether a move isn’t going to work or just needs more time, so a strong digital approach with various stages to examine. results

Inspect the results as you go:

One way to combat guesswork is to anchor your approach decisions to a thesis about the business results different digital investments will produce. It’s more of a thinking that draws quick and basic lessons from the data to determine if your business logic is correct. Put another way, it means finding out if there is enough value to make something worth investing in, as part of a further learning process. This approach increases the odds of a successful implementation: a well-articulated view of results means you can track how well the approach is working.

4. Struggle – Impossibility of Knowing

We know that most companies, mine included, are trying and struggling to do two things at once: reinvent the core by digitizing and automating some of its key elements, for example, and create innovative new digital businesses. The challenge is acute due to the dizzying pace of digital change and the uncertainty surrounding the adoption of new technologies. Even if the technology for autonomous vehicles works, for example, when will most people actually start using it? Given the impossibility of knowing, it’s easy to end up with an unfocused hodgepodge of digital initiatives.

Rethinking experimentation

Real success in digital is rarely about providing the exact same products and services, just through a digital pipeline. Netflix moved from DVDs to streaming. Uber created the world’s largest car service without buying vehicles or hiring drivers. Companies that successfully “cross the chasm” to digital effectiveness often find they need to provide for free what they used to charge, sell as a subscription what used to be “a la carte,” and rethink how they monetize the value they create. . Those who do it flexibly can often find that adopting a digital strategy or approach offers more scale, revenue, and profit than the legacy approach, but it requires experimentation, risk-taking, and, to be frank, a few failures along the way. .

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