Challenge 1. Resistance
Transformation equals change and change often encounters resistance. There are two examples to look at here:
Part One – Narrative
Automation, machine learning and AI, with all their potential, can be very threatening to employees – especially with the ongoing conversation in the media surrounding technology making many roles redundant.
Be sure to build a strong narrative around your transformation projects, framing the context – the why, the environment, the ambition, what success looks like – and, if possible, demonstrate some quick wins to build belief.
Part Two – Teams
Project teams that live within one department only, e.g. Marketing, can encounter resistance when they must reach out to other parts of the business, e.g.. IT, who have not been on the journey so far and have competing objectives.
The ideal solution is to build project teams that involve diversity in skills, expertise and business function. This can help to break down potential barriers as well as, generally, accelerating progress.
Challenge 2. Business is good
When business is good it takes strong leadership and vision to commission change. Many businesses are too complacent in responding to the new normal of chaos and change. Last year over $US32billion was invested in Fintech projects and $US2billion in Insurtech – even the humble florist is at the mercy of digital disruption. There isn’t an industry void from threat.
Secondly, customer expectations are changing rapidly and the improvement of customer experience via technology found in other industries will be transferred to yours with ease. Businesses and startups responding to these changes will quickly leave you behind, as transformation projects can take more than 3 years to complete.
The takeaway – business leaders need to make developing a vision for how to harness digital technology in their business a key priority.
Challenge 3. Shiny things
The allure of shiny things can lead to a reactive and chaotic approach to digital transformation. Many businesses are adopting almost every new technology and channel without a clear, driving vision. Whilst this can deliver some efficiencies, recent global research by Capgemini shows that, on average, it has a negative impact on profit.
The approach of digital leaders and masters is to set a clear vision, from which strategies and tactics flow. The same research piece identifies strength in focusing your initial transformation projects on your core competency, what you do best (e.g. customer insights to drive experience), and focusing on doing a few things really well.
Challenge 4. Useless data
There is no denying the potential of data to dramatically improve many aspects of a business, from customer experience to supply and operations, however many businesses have data captured but no way to extract meaningful insight or value.
Secondly, data often can not capture complete causality or the attitudes and environment that surrounds captured behaviour. This can lead to skewed information or missed opportunities.
It is here that we remind our clients that behind a dataset are real, live people. People who, if you ask nicely, answer questions and can provide insight on thoughts that would never be captured.
We engage in interview and customer journey mapping to help our clients uncover insights into how their service deliver could be improved, which, although very lo-fi and small in sample size, can be incredibly powerful.
Pivot Summit 2017 was a great event and myself and Fluid were very proud to be a part of it. We congratulate all of the speakers and look forward to an even bigger and better event at Federal Mills next year.