Over the last four weeks, I have emerged from my self-imposed exile of book writing to engage with a range of clients. These engagements have been exciting and fruitful; however, they also make me wonder how the demands of digital will exacerbate current conditions in many organisations.
These conversations are all very similar across a range of clients;
At our executive all hands we were asked about what are we doing with digital? The response was we want to go paperless. A worthwhile activity, but it is not digital. Digital incorporates a market cycle, points of differentiation and technology facilitation of content, transactions and scale.
Our vendors who should be partners are absent. Are we mismanaging them? How can we unlock value? Do we bring everything back, in house? A common frustration and often contributed to a lack of focus on the relationship. They are missing the appropriate executive sponsorship from the vendor and subsequent executive interactions between both organisations. Involvement of the right people and a different conversation is the beginning of realising the potential.
Our business has a very clear strategy; there is an uncertainty of how the technology team is contributing to this; they have a backlog of demand that seems to be no longer relevant. We appear to be interacting and transacting for our traditional business, not our future business. There is a need to rise above the work, list the work and stop a lot of the work. At a minimum, a technology strategy is required; it would be beneficial to consider taking the time to develop a digital strategy. Then identify the initiatives to support both.
The above points were inspired by real conversations; how am I helping these people?
“Bridge-building” between the business and technology teams. Reviewing and refining strategy.
“Mentoring” all executives on what is digital, why their Digital IQ needs to be higher than the Technical IQ. Digital is everyone’s business.
“Energising” by coaching the technology team on how to communicate priorities and choices.
People literally stand taller after having a lot of their work cancelled. The clarity of priorities and certainty of what will be delivered immediately improves business relationships, and everyone just feels better.