How do you successfully navigate the ever-changing digital sea of change: 3 Tips to help your business swim not sink
How ready are you and your business for digital transformation? If your answer is ‘not very’, the data shows that you’re not alone. However, if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that considerable change is not only inevitable, it is currently upon us, whether you are ready or not.
While most were still busy drawing ‘digital transformation’ strategies Covid came along and thrust everyone off a cliff into a digital sea. Whether your company sinks, or swims may depend on how quickly you adapt to a new ‘norm’, one where formerly fringe concepts like working from home have entered the business mainstream and niche products like Zoom have become verbs.
The good news, there are three practical things you can do starting today that will help ensure your success.
1. Look within
Your younger employees will naturally be more digitally savvy, having grown up in a world of smartphones, memes and connectivity. But don’t discount your older team members. They’ve already lived through the arrival of – and in many cases helped usher into their workspaces – tech like fax machines, the internet, email and voice conferencing, long before the arrival of instant messaging and video calls.
They bring a wealth of institutional knowledge and expertise as well as solid values and ethics to any discussions around your company’s digital transformation journey, all of which can be the perfect counterpoint to their younger colleagues’ enthusiasm, energy and comfort with cutting edge tech and the latest trends.
2. Look externally
Internal collaboration unlocks the potential of your own team, but external collaboration can unleash the power of the entire supply chain.
To get started, identify at least one external partner – perhaps a supplier or even a key customer or a loyal advertiser – who would be prepared to take this digital journey of discovery with you. Digital transformation is a evolving problem and the more partners you have in this journey, the more perspective you can collectively bring to solving problems.
Taking this path requires courage and will push you well out of your comfort zone. It will require a leap of faith and trust in your prospective partners. But the rewards are worth it.
3. Adopt a culture of change
Last year has driven home the fact that change isn’t a once off, but a continuous, often disconcerting, reality of life. To survive and thrive in this state you will need to adapt your internal culture and structure to embrace change and encourage it within your organisation.
This may involve re-examining the metrics you currently use to measure progress, productivity and other organisational priorities. You’ll need to ask yourself: “Do the things we measure encourage change or do they entrench established practices that may be at odds with change?”
As important as being agile and responsive to change is finding consensus as an organisation on what constitutes good change. Chaos is change, but you want to avoid that.
Yes, the prospect of transformation can be daunting. But doing nothing simply leaves you vulnerable to unwanted and unexpected changes you haven’t planned for. So, tap into the insights, energy and experience of your own staff and external stakeholders, then have a robust conversation on what kind of change you want.
If our own experience and that of our partners is anything to go on, this will get you out of the starting blocks and further along the path to sustainable digital transformation than many, maybe all, of your competitors.
Adapted from the article, Navigating the digital sea of change: 3 tips to help your business swim not sink, by Anice Hassim.