Interesting article from World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

To quote these thought leaders

"COVID-19 has highlighted the need to harness disruptive technologies without delay.

Our research shows that more than 80% of companies plan to accelerate their companies’ digital transformation plans, against the backdrop of a global pandemic having accelerated the urgency of digital transformation for businesses.

But our research also shows that only 30% of digital transformations have achieved their objectives, which is to say that they met or exceeded their target value and resulted in sustainable change. Another 44% created some value but did not meet their targets and resulted in only limited long-term change.

A final 26% created limited value (less than 50% of the target) and produced no sustainable change."

I'm writing this, working from home.  While I am CEO of a virtual business (we don't have an office), I am also here because of the need to work from home because of the pandemic.  So many people seem to think that "digital transformation" is about technology.  When I got my mobile phone, it gave me a competitive advantage, now everybody has a mobile phone, it's not the phone that gives us a competitive advantage, it's how we use it.  It's not the technology that gives you a competitive advantage, it is your people and their skills.

For your business to get digital dominance, it is by skilling your people to be digital. 

Digital transformation is not IT it's about your people's skills

Some interesting research from Mulesoft, where they interviewed 1,739 line-of-business managers across the world,

"only 37% believe they currently have enough skills and technology to keep pace with digital projects during this period of upheaval. The majority, 58%, even feel IT leaders are spending too much time "keeping the lights on" rather than supporting innovation.  44% even go as far as to say they think their organization's IT department is a blocker on innovation."

Digital transformation is ..... like a jigsaw, let me explain

My family are big fans of jigsaws, I remember when my mother taught me how to go about completing a jigsaw.  First you had to start with the edges and then you would have "projects" building the boat, the grass and the sky.  Then you would start filling the jigsaw in.

Eric Doyle, whose on the DLA Ignite team, likens Jigsaws to digital transformation. 

A jigsaw isn't complete until you have put all the pieces in.  70% of the effort isn't good enough.  It's binary, either the jigsaw is complete or it isn't.  You need to put 100% of effort into the jigsaw.

Digital Transformation is Binary

Equation 1 - What's 1 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 1 = 1 ?

Equation 2 - What's 1 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 0 = 0 ?

Equation 1 shows that if you do all of the right things in the right order you get a result.

With equation 2, it shows the person has decided to "cut a corner" and not do all of the right actions.  They have still put in energy, but the result is zero.

In the world of analogue 70% effort gets you 70% of the result.  In the world of digital, 70% of the effort, gives you zero of a result.

In digital, 70% of the effort, get you zero result.

Yesterday I was tagged in a post because there was a salesperson that knew she needed to be digital, but wasn't getting the support she needed from her leadership and the company she worked for. She had therefore taken things into her own hands to ask on Linkedin where she could get training in social / virtual / digital / remote selling?

This is a sorry state of affairs, where people at the "shop floor" know they need to change to be relevant today, but are not getting the support from the leadership.

So what about the free training out there or getting somebody in for an hour to give the sales team some "hints and tips"

Why "hints and tips" and "masterclasses" don't work

A great example of how business try and cut corners is through "hints and tips" and "masterclasses".  I was on a call yesterday with a company that had run a two hour digital selling session for their sales team.

I asked them "what happened after the hints and tips session?" and they said "nothing".   It seems to surprise them, but, of course this is the result.  

The problem with training today is it's based on knowledge transfer.  We sit in from of a screen as somebody walks through a set of powerpoints.  They transfer knowledge to us.  The training finishes and we go back to what we did before.  That doesn't work for social, why?  Being social isn't what you know, it's what you do.  

Social / digital / virtual / remote selling requires you to have a different mindset and different set of habits.  These providers of "hints and tips" training are exploiting people's ignorance. 

Digital Requires a Methodology 

For your business to move to digital you need to have a methodology, preferably a methodology that has been tried and tested.

You need to have a "transformation promise", what is the methodology going to do for you?  Many suppliers usually measure this in savings, but we all know nobody buys savings, a business needs to understand, in $s what you will do for that company.  More on that in the next paragraph.

But Tim we are all over social

Often companies say to us "we are all over social".

When they explain, it is because somebody is posting on the Linkedin page. The other week a CEO sent me a post where he had received 40 likes. 35 of the likes were from his staff and the other 5 were from mates.  This is all tactical, in other words this isn't strategic.  It's just a random act of social and people are posting in their own echo chamber.  

You might be on social, but this isn't digital dominance, it won't "move the needle".

In fact this is a cost to the business, not a revenue generator. 

What ROI could we expect by taking social strategically?

Typically, when an organisation starts to gain traction each year we would expect the salespeople to generate an average of £500k- £1m in pipeline and in excess of 200,000 views of their content per person as well as creating some fantastically targeted content that really engages the people in their target accounts.

This is making a difference, and this is "moving the needle".

Ironically though, whilst we can measure the success in pipeline and revenue, and we can measure the success in terms of the amount of content that’s created, and we can measure the success in terms of how many views we have had on content, and we can measure the amount of engagement those view have generated the most important thing for us at a personal level isn’t the hard facts…it’s the soft stuff.

You need to be asking the people in your organisation, what revenue return (otherwise what is the point of doing it?) are people getting from their social activity. 

Where Do We Go From Here?

Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing to transform businesses.  This is all done in the form of case studies.  Companies just like yours, realising that they need not to be just on social, but digital dominance is the real competitive advantage today.  No hard sell, just practical examples.

DLA Ignite is a global business and we understand that a "cookie cutter" approach to digital does not work, we have to take into account local language and cultural sensitivities.  Which is why we have built teams across the globe, that can support you by country and industry sector. 

For more information contact me here, visit our website, or visit our Linkedin company page and contact one of the DLA Ignite team members.