Embedding digital acceleration throughout your entire organization and services
The small bright spots of 2020 were mostly digital, such as the countless virtual drinks, events and online quizzes with friends. The digital possibilities kept us afloat, both personally and professionally. Many companies went online or increased their online presence in order to survive and respond to new customer expectations. This resulted in an 'everyone online' trend, something that has been around for quite some time now but had to be accelerated due to the current circumstances.
Much of this digital acceleration happened as a response, and things were set up to keep everything going – mainly in the short term. But what about the long term? Now that the first, crucial steps have been taken, the door is open for embedding a lasting digital acceleration within your organization. Customers are more ready than ever before, and action is required to make sure this momentum isn't wasted.
Anchoring tomorrow's new normal in today's reality
Digital acceleration requires a digital attitude, throughout the entire company. Building such an attitude takes time, but above all needs an environment in which digital innovation can thrive. The right factors create a greenhouse effect: a suitable environment for generating ideas, evolving them and allowing them to rapidly grow into digital innovations. You can achieve this by creating space for ideas and making sure they can grow safely.
Take a number of important conditions into account to do so:
- Make use of talent and expertise. Your own employees are already familiar with internal processes and know customers better than anyone else. Their innovative ideas are not useless – they match your specific reality.
- Lead by example. The organizational culture needs to be permeated by agility.
- Dare to embrace technology and innovation. There is certainly added value to be found in your environment, and the available technology is often faster and more usable than it seems at first glance. Check it out!
- Opt for sustainability and be transparent. Customers and employees see it as a company's responsibility to pay attention to these issues.
Map things out using a digital roadmap
The stage has been set, and now it's time to take concrete action. This can be done by building a digital roadmap. We recommend involving all stakeholders, adopting a holistic approach and daring to look at what is going on outside your company.
Start a roadmap with a check-in to understand where you stand today, and try to capture the complete picture 'as-is'. Dive into your organization, talk to people, and look at customer data and web analytics. What can you learn from this? Do you see trends, or do some issues stand out?
Once you've got all the facts, you can supplement them with new ideas. Be inspired by experts or partners and explore different possibilities. Ask everyone involved and try to gather as much input as possible. There are many proven techniques for generating ideas, such as an Innovation Focus Canvas, or you could try organizing a stop-start-continue exercise focusing on the recent hectic months. If you'd like to know more about these techniques, read more about them here.
In the end, you'll have a whole host of ideas, and the next step is all about drawing up estimates and being decisive. Gather all input, let stakeholders indicate what they find important, and summarize everything in an impact/effort matrix. This gives you an overview that you can clearly communicate and work on in concrete terms. So, you shouldn't put this thinking exercise on hold, as is often the case. Set up test projects, making sure they're small and manageable, and get started!