There is a saying in business “what got you here won’t get you there.” The premise being that as time moves forward and the environment changes,  organizations evolve and so must its people in order to thrive and get to the next level.

Starting with customers who are constantly raising expectations and getting smarter; to new technology, which changes the game and increases the complexity of it; it forces all of us to keep ahead of the curve to keep up.

In our world, the last 17 years have been nothing short of a rocket ride. We have experienced incredible growth, driven new ways of thinking, and caused organizations to rethink the marketplace and how to engage with stakeholders at a much deeper level.

We have also navigated change – change thrust upon us as a result of technology and innovation and our quest to Become the Best. Some of the highlights shaping our narrative include:

  1. A New Lens to See – Analytics and Insights – At our foundation was early recognition and investment in the use of data and insights in guiding strategy and programming to achieve precision in spend and results
  2. From Coverage to Influence – Discovering that media was becoming not only fragmented but personal and influence was informing opinion allowed clients to identify the types of discussions — including language, cadence, tonality – taking place and more importantly, who was influencing the topic
  3. Blurring the Lines – Communications, Marketing, Analysis, Strategy, Creative – No longer would these disciplines operate in silos.  Rather, together they would work in concert like an orchestra to create InteGREATness.
  4. Digital Transformation This shift in power to customers and employees has had the most profound impact on organizational and customer behavior
  5. Holistic Solutions The impact of digital on communications and marketing forces a more dynamic, holistic approach to brand and reputation building
  6. Hybrid Skills –  The most challenging area has been migrating from a specialized skill set to one that encompasses a variety of capabilities and incorporating innovative thinking and a strategic mindset that looks to the future while addressing the current reality

As we go forward, we are in the midst of the next evolution driven by several factors:

  1. Relevance – In a social and digital age relevance is the new reputation.  If an organization or brand or person is not relevant they don’t exist
  2. Empowerment – The rise of expectations is leading to more power and control by customers and employees causing businesses to hone their listening and curiosity to respect this new mindset
  3. Higher Purpose – Beyond CSR and social programs, organizations must be in sync with making a real difference in people’s lives. For healthcare organizations this takes on even greater meaning as patients and customers will look for how they are making the world a better place and making healthcare work better in the world
  4. Predictive Knowledge – Analytics and data were just the start. What if you could know what customers or consumers or competitors would do before it happens? It’s all about leveraging information, digital knowledge, insights, ecosystems, and social behavior to determine how activities are emerging
  5. AI – All the talk about artificial intelligence and what it will or won’t do boils down to one question: when will AI become a legitimate replacement for the work we do?

Digital is table stakes today. The game is now being played in the connective tissue that holds everything together. It’s all about riding the wave of complexity and convergence and factoring in human emotion and mindset to arrive at new conclusions.

It’s no longer what got us here. It’s about forward. No roadmap. No playbook. Just information and insight. Discovery and experimentation.

Looking back we created much of what we see today by staying nimble and taking the rivers of change versus letting them take us. Looking forward, it will be much of the same but with a completely new set of technologies, realities and circumstances to navigate.

If you’re interested in learning about W2O, check out our About and Healthcare pages.

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