The digital revolution is driving change in every sector. We’re seeing long-established playbooks redefined by waves of innovation, and the digital giants like Amazon, Uber or Google are shaping the future of customer experience even outside their own sectors (see our previous post on learning from Amazon’s successes).
So, what are the basic building blocks for a digital transformation that works? Here are the five transformational principles that every organisation should follow:
A journey of transformation requires senior stakeholders to open up about the challenges they face. However, these challenges cannot be based only on the experience of management teams. Stakeholders from across the business also need to be involved. The real truths come from directly engaging with every layer of the organisation.
Achieving change is not about individual projects, it's about lining up complementary initiatives that build towards a unified vision. Businesses need a realistic velocity that demonstrates enough progress to be classed as transformation, but does not overcommit and create unachievable goals.
Give freedom to your teams to allow them the opportunity to succeed. Transformation can hit bottlenecks, so be sure to delegate power to key trusted individuals within your business to increase the success and pace of the changes you are trying to make.
Transformation should not be a blind leap of faith. Focus your attention towards the impact before, during and after change. Success comes in many forms, so be sure to consider performance measures that cover financial performance and customer satisfaction as well as effects to your culture. Hold your partners to account to minimise risk.
Businesses, the market and your audience's needs are in a constant state of flux. Be sure to design a transformation programme that can flex when required; rigidity can create momentum in the wrong direction. Build in opportunities to question progress and the ability to shift focus should the opportunity or need arise.
How does it translate to the big big world?
Digital transformation means something different for every company. And this is why so many struggle to do it right. At Greyhound – mentioned in a previous post – BIO focused on identifying customer pain points to shift how the business interacts with their customers, and on the role their employees play in shaping that experience. Our work for Arrow Electronics is another take on how digital transformation must match a company’s goals and existing strengths. This 30bn+ global business had little digital retail presence. We delivered an entirely new platform to connect Arrow with consumers, drive sales and grow their business, while also helping them to become a more collaborative company with employee engagement and customer experience at the heart of everything they do.
No company is immune to digital disruption, and these principles can help you frame your thinking when planning your response. A focus on developing seamless, best-in-breed customer experiences can help you to create brand differentiation in the market and retain or increase market share.
And by analysing every aspect of your business and applying effective digital change, you can significantly increase profitability, benefit from cost savings, streamline operations and quicken speed-to-market.