Interesting article by EY on how they are investing in their people as a way to meet the challenges of digital disruption.

I was with a company yesterday that has invested in a "tool" but of course, the tool isn't the magic bullet.  The people have to apply and use this tool as part of their roles.

This often means doing things differently.  Scary I know.

Differently may mean you have to change what you do to accomodate this tool and the benefits it gives you.  Differently may also mean doing things because the old process either don't work or don't work as well.  Or there is a change in psychology.

If we look at companies today, the messages all blur into one another.

Let's take the ERP, EPM, CPM market, nobody actually knows what that means unless you work in that market.  The terms are supplier created.  I'm aware of one "ERP" vendor that has tuned their Google adwords to ERP and get nothing.  Why?  because nobody searches for an ERP system.

(For those that don't know ERP is an accounting system).

Because companies have decided to make all their websites and all their messaging the same as everybody else.  Such as "we are number one", "we are the market leader" the average buyer cannot differentiate the companies when it comes to buying.  Hence the reason why Gartner says that 70% of Enterprise B2B procurements end up as "no decision".

The only thing that companies now have to differentiate themselves are their people.  Each person has a collective experience that you can activate.  It is through this activation, where you prospects and customers will feel a connection with your brand.  Not through some boring corporate message that everybody will have tuned out of.  But by seeing a connection with your team.  This is the "emotional connection" that ad men talked about in the past.

This is the flip that we have seen.  People won't make a emotional connection with an advertisement or an unsolicited email or a cold call.  But they will make an emotional connection with your people talking in an authentic way. 

Talking to a CEO of a "social" company recently he said "I assume that my staff will do this".  They won't, unless you lead them and invest in them.  Part of that is giving them "permission" and part of that is making sure they have the skills and etiquette skills so they do it in a safe environment.  

Do that and the business case is more revenue, more customers, better availability to talent.  All of the things as business leaders we strive for but never seem to reach.

Investing in your people has never been more of a compelling business case.