What Is Your Digital Vision?
There are two kinds of companies, the quick and the dead. A fuzzy vision and unclear strategy won’t get you where you want to go. The business world is accelerating in this digital age and your company is falling behind. If you want to move forward, this blog is for you.
In our previous blog, we spelled out where to start: Build a common framework, language, and vision for digital transformation. Know the importance of your digital leadership team. Prioritize an initial assessment of your company’s opportunities, strengths, and priorities.
In the next three phases, determine where you’re going, how you will get there, and who will go with you.
- Phase Four: Vision and Strategy
- Phase Five: Identification
- Phase Six: Engagement
Vision & Strategy
Create a compelling vision, overall strategy, and individual strategies integrated across your digital core. Include your company products, marketing, customer journey, and company operational system. Let’s build!!!
Using the insight from the Discovery Phase, create a compelling vision and overall strategy that describes your company’s direction and the path to get there. The vision you create will be a vivid mental image so compelling folks will want to go there with you. Every company has a story and every great leader is a great storyteller, providing meaning and purpose for his team.
Be certain that everyone knows how their role relates to the company’s vision. In 1962, when President John F. Kennedy visited NASA headquarters, he asked a janitor what he was doing. The man’s answer? “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” The man had a meaningful sense of being part of something great.
Strategic thinking considers not only what you are doing but why and how you are doing it. In a June 2011 Forbes’ article, The Perils of Bad Strategy, Richard Rumelt says good strategy includes a diagnosis, a guiding policy, and coherent actions. It avoids lousy strategy, the hallmarks of which are:
- Failure to face the problem – Strategy is a response to the challenge, an approach to overcoming the obstacle. The challenge must be defined. If it is not, then you will not know if a strategy is good or bad.
- Mistaking goals for strategy – A goal is your desired outcome. Strategy is your approach to achieving the goal.
- Bad strategic objectives – A long list of things to do, which Rumelt refers to as a dog’s dinner of goals, “…is not a strategy. It is just a list of things to do.” Rumelt also describes another kind of weak strategic objective called “Blue Sky” – “…a restatement of the desired state of affairs…[but] “it skips over the annoying fact that no one has a clue as to how to get there.”
- Fluff – This is a combination of high-sounding technical gibberish or “…buzzwords that masquerade as expertise.”
Create scenario-based and highly agile digital strategies that can be integrated across your digital core to include company products, marketing and marketing systems, customer journey, and operational systems.
Scenario-based strategies consider different situations and corresponding outcomes. And, as farmers use The Old Farmer’s Almanac to identify weather trends and predict different outcomes, your team will make use of the insight from the Discovery Phase to develop corresponding strategies that address alternative scenarios.
Highly agile digital strategies provide the capacity to change quickly with a “fail fast” mindset, reallocate focus and efforts to emerging opportunities, and to cut their losses when obsolescence occurs.
Evaluate your strategies to determine if you have correctly diagnosed problems, if your strategies address the issues identified, and whether they provide the most leverage for the least effort expended.
- Create a compelling vision.
- Develop that vision into flexible strategies to integrate across your digital core, address the identified problems, and provide the most leverage with the least effort.
Identify and prioritize the key opportunities/initiative areas used to engage the company, customers, and partners. Establish the engagement teams who will drive the initiatives forward. Let’s build!!!
Review/analyze the discovery phase findings using the vision and the corresponding strategies you’ve developed. This activity requires collaboration with the internal stakeholders, customers, and partners to clarify and refine prioritization.
Conduct business evaluations to determine the growth potential and savings. Validate previous assumptions and the effectiveness of the project and initiative proposals. Deepen collaboration and further prioritize with stakeholder departments and customers. Your team must determine which technologies and market trends will likely provide the highest value and impact with the opportunities and strategies you’ve identified. The output of this process will be a prioritized and organized project list that will guide the work for the engagement phase.
Identify and establish the engagement teams that will drive the initiatives forward.
- Review, fine-tune and prioritize strategic initiatives.
- Determine which technologies and market trends will provide the highest value/impact based on the opportunities/strategies identified.
- Create and organize/prioritize a project list for the next phase.
- Identify and establish the engagement team.
Establish a growing and sustainable wave of excitement, support, and participation among your participants so that they become a part of your digital future.
French writer and pioneering aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, wrote, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
Kick off this phase by establishing an organization-wide engagement plan with a launch and planning (L&P) meeting. The engagement and digital leadership teams (EDLT) will plan the L&P meeting, determine the themes to move the engagement strategy forward, drive the engagement campaign, and kick off the company-wide campaign. The L&P meeting and its location make a powerful statement.
The L&P meeting will involve executives, department leaders, key staffers, customers, partners, transformation leaders, and team members. The engagement phase brings people together around the program strategy. You must make the transformation meaningful on a personal level or you won’t be able to achieve the primary purpose of this phase: to engage the hearts of people.
The EDLT will provide orientation and training in digital strategy, leadership, and the transformation process for new team members. The number of engagement team members will expand in this phase. The expanded team will assist in formulating plans, setting in motion the various prioritized transformation strategies and projects, and initiate discussions across the organization. Their training and their passion for the project are two critical success elements. They should be trained quickly and brought up to speed on all the essential program pieces.
The EDLT will establish and set in motion a transformation campaign which includes the following elements and tools:
- An information portal with transformation content, status updates, internal and public engagement, and feedback tools.
- A continuing series of discussions and meetings with executives, upper-level management, department leaders, customers, and partners.
- A rewards and incentives program.
- A series of engagement meetings with communities who use the key technologies and ecosystems critical to your transformation.
- Training programs and literature that support and educate your company and customers.
- Build momentum and participation across your organization.
- L&P meeting, engagement campaign with relevant tools, and the information portal.
- Translate your vision in a digital world through strategic planning, business assessments, and reality checks, and, most importantly, people.
- Know that the people who make your vision happen will become the digital DNA driving your company into the future.
This Blog Is Part THREE Of A Series!
Ready, Set, How To Digitally Transform [Part Four]