From Legacy to Disruptor: how to fundamentally change your model and mindset
In the next four years, 20-25% of shopping malls in America will close down. Habits among consumers are changing alongside a growing preference for online services, and brands must adapt to keep up with the rate of change.
Organisations not only need to implement new technologies to keep up with changes in consumerism trends, but also change the culture and mindset of their leadership and teams to ensure digital transformation is successful.
Transformation is not new
Transformation has always been a key component of an organisation’s overall business strategy. While adding the word “digital“ might make the process seem more intimidating, the basic principles still apply.
However, 47% of current digital transformation projects still fail or are not meeting the stated expectations, implying that brands need to go back to the drawing board and determine why this may be.
Goals, and how they can drive overall growth, as well a clear strategy on how to meet those goals, must be defined from the outset. Leadership must also adapt and practise what they preach to ensure effective behavioral changes across the organisation.
One attendee gave the example of monitoring his son’s iPad use, as he would make his son turn off his iPad at 4pm every day. But, understandably, the son could not understand why he was not allowed to use his iPad when his father was.
Leadership must act in the same way that they would like their employees to act. Successful digital transformation will benefit an entire organisation in the long run, but in most instances 20% of the staff must manage 80% of the challenges around transformation. Encouragement from leadership will mitigate some of these challenges, as well allow for more support from other teams.
Many organisations lack a clear long-term business model; leadership often lacks understanding, and therefore is not as supportive of digital transformation as they should be.
Leadership must understand the entire approach to digital transformation needs to change and must be aware of where they sit in the process.
Agility, and the ability to continuously iterate and improve, is key to this. But agility does not mean having no set roadmap, and does not have to be confined to “tech.” Every team in a business should be working in an agile manner so that each part of the business continues to improve.
Renovation, Innovation and Invention
Digital transformation generally encompasses three distinct elements: renovation, innovation and invention.
Instead of starting the entire transformation process from scratch, renovation requires leaders to look at their existing tools and determine what can be improved.
Following this comes innovation, which is what most organisations focus on. This consists of incremental changes which will improve your existing tools and products. The introduction of Tesla Model 3, for example, is an innovation stemming from improvements made on past models.
Invention sits away from the above in that it requires organisations to start from scratch and introduce an entirely new product or process. Elon Musk’s launch of SpaceX and focus on space tourism is pure invention.
Roadmap to success
In order to determine where your business sits in the renovation, innovation and invention process, leadership should create a clear roadmap of where the business currently sits, where it hopes to sit in the next 5 years (for example) and what tools are needed to get there.
What are the outcomes you are hoping to achieve? Are you driving business growth or improving the customer journey? Identifying the purpose of going digital will enable teams to have a clear plan of what they need to execute, as well as the tools they need to achieve the goal.
But it’s not just about the tools individuals need; effective digital transformation also requires looking at capability and determining who in the organisation is the best fit to get the job done. Establishing capability will clearly give ownership to individuals in different areas, empowering them to do the job more effectively as they will be more invested in ensuring successful outcomes.
Businesses can no longer make the argument that they are ‘newbies’ in the digital field as it’s quite literally ‘digital or die.’ But digital marketing and communications strategies are significantly better now than they have been in the past.
Companies know what strategies and roadmaps work so there is no longer any viable excuse for getting digital transformation wrong.
Organisations must combine a cultural restructure with new technologies so the right analytics and insights drive growth, which will allow brands to continuously optimise their outcomes.
Future of Brands does Breakfast took place at The Ivy Tower Bridge on 27 September. Attendees came to understand how to change the model and mindset of an organisation to remain competitive in the new experience economy.
The event was held in partnership with Sitecore and Cognifide.
Sitecore is about customer experience; their mission is to help their clients provide the best possible customer experience through content management and personalisation.
Cognifide specialises in building experience platforms for its customers; with a focus on process-led transformation and managing the impact of new tech on businesses.
 Isadore, C., (2017) ‘Malls are doomed: 25% will be gone in 5 years’ CNN. [online] Available: https://money.cnn.com/2017/06/02/news/economy/doomed-malls/index.html [Accessed 27/09/2018
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