A Quick Take on Unlocking the Power of Digital

It seems to go without saying that in 2019 organizations are fully digitized. The truth though is far from the perception.

That’s why, as I look at the year ahead on this Chinese New Year of the Pig, instead of sharing a slew of predictions I want to focus on the one strategic imperative for leaders in the new year.

Becoming a digital organization is no longer a competitive advantage it’s a competitive must.

Yet, for many companies and leaders, being digital is still elusive. What gets in the way of adopting a digital model and mindset? What specifically needs to change in the business?

In a word, everything. From the overall business model to the entire employee and customer experience. Product development, innovation, HR, supply chain, manufacturing, services, culture, communications, and marketing or the ethos surrounding the enterprise.

So, delving into the layers necessary to achieve a true digital transformation, organizations and brands can cross the divide separating their current state with the future potential.

First and foremost, a digital mindset starts in the head and with the leadership team. It’s about improving current business practices and approaches, optimizing processes, and identifying new streams of revenue and value.

Second, it must be viewed not as a disruption but a renaissance throughout the enterprise. A pathway to see things through new eyes and apply behaviors and expectations to situations that demand new thinking. 

Third, a new set of measures to organize decisions and knowledge creation. Companies often implement digital initiatives but do not comprehend a macro digital strategy. Digitization is based on how the entire business better serves employees and customers throughout the new journey including myriad touch points, channels, platforms, and feedback. It means allowing key audiences to “choose their own adventure.” 

Fourth, digital is about expressing yourself as a corporate brand in a manner every audience can identify with vs. the analog model which is based on a one size fits all concept.

Fifth, it involves melding technology, consumer behavior, and employee competencies to generate a better customer experience.

Organizations in a range of sectors and industries have made the transition to digital. They have done so to avoid extinction and evolve their business models to reflect a world of seamless connectivity and communication. But there are many other organizations trapped by their own thinking and inertia that creates the digital divide we now see. Breaking through requires tenacity, nurturing, focus, and design to create engagement and agility.

In my opinion, there is no more important priority for businesses and brands in 2019.

Here’s to a Healthy, Happy and Digitally Prosperous New Year!


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