I've been helping out in the Lightning Lab GovTech Accelerator (https://llgovtech.co.nz/) and working with the amazing Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Building Financial Capability team. They are aiming to prevent and get Kiwis out of financial hardship and poverty, by creating a new digital financial solution that gives access to existing products and services, including a national reach of financial mentors. Meet the awesome team of Dana; Alistair, Cyma and Michael!
Exponential technology change is increasing the rate that digital disruption is impacting on business models and organisations.
The impact on businesses that are not born-digital can be highly problematic, as I have written about before.
For medium to smaller organisations the challenge can appear overwhelming - where on earth do you start and how do you avoid joining the club of failed digital transformations?
A useful way to clear away some of the noise is to begin by defining how businesses respond to digital - and what that means for their culture & people, operating model and infrastructure strategies.
In this model there are three strategic transformation choices to respond to digital:
The high percentage of digital transformation failures suggests that embarking on a digital transformation of an organisation is an almost impossible quest.
Why do organisations that can afford to hire the best talent, buy platinum platforms and who are run by high-achieving leaders, fail at moving into the digital age?
Surely with the internet now reaching its fourth decade, organisations should be more than up to the task of being digital heroes?
Everyone loves a good hero-story - and for me digitally transforming is a hero-quest of the 21st Century for many organisations.
It can seem like an impossible journey to a magical location and like legendary quests such as The Odyssey, or my favourite, Lord of the Rings.
The quest always involves a heroic group who are given superpowers along the way and only reach their magical destination when they are truly transformed.
There are five key reasons why companies struggle to transform:
As with any great story, there's a challenge for the hero - in the transformation story it’s usually the challenge of creating amazing experiences through great digital products.
The story must always be focused on the heroic transformation, in this case the organisation truly delivering on an aspirational brand purpose that takes its customers and business on an incredible journey to a better place.
As with any quest, the hero is equipped with super-powers along the way. These attributes manifest as:
Transformation is not a linear journey
The reason for the high number of digital transformation failures, is that many organisations see their digital transformation story as a linear, mostly technology-driven story that delivers a grand ending.
But, like any tragedy, if a hero tries to complete their quest with only one-or-two super-powers and ignores the others, then the story doesn't end well.
And in digital the journey is not linear. It’s all about the power of these five factors happening at the same time to deliver a transformational brand experience that will always be evolving.
And this is demonstrated through having amazing digital products that create fans, rather than customers and which deliver on a brand promise that adds more value than it takes.
It sounds magical - but it's not. Like all great storytellers know - there's a clear and measurable formula to success.
And while true digital transformation is a never-ending story every journey has a start point.