Top 3 tips when preparing for a digital transformation programme and why it's not always about new technology.
In this week's 3@3, Al and Steve discuss the things individuals and organisations should consider before embarking on a transformation programme.
Al kicks off with a hotly debated question in our sector, the definition of 'Digital'.
What does digital mean to your business?
The answer to this question is usually...it depends.
Steve stresses that the best way to tackle this deceptively tricky question is to first assess your organisation's digital purpose. Steve uses an example of a community trust organisation, where a client board or senior stakeholders defined the brief surrounding the DT programme, they believed that the organisation should be using the latest technology in the most advanced way to deliver the most compelling service for their clients.
However, when they drilled down further, to understand the requirements better, the board's assertions didn't come from within the organisation, but rather from their perception of how their competition used tech. By bringing the conversation emphasis back to the digital purpose, it was clear the organisational objectives could be fulfilled using their existing technology stack to its full effect.
Steve argues that rather than fancy apps and hardware, often the DT spend needs to start on more housekeeping activities or tech such as CRM systems (customer relationship management) and without proper setup and implementation of the more un-glamorous elements of business as usual activities, enhanced DT (addition of new technologies) can not progress and that the purpose should dictate the direction of the DT activities, more than any brief. And that by defining digital purpose, you can be clearer on how to drive value and interactions with your customers.
Al talks about market noise and the knee jerk reaction by some boards that see new or emerging 'shiny' technologies as the answer to transformation programmes. And states while aspirational technology is important and has a place in a DT roadmap, if it's not adding value then it probably shouldn't be looked at in the initial part of the change programme.
Al talks about the importance of visioning techniques when defining digital aspirations and the importance of shifting mindsets.
Al talks about where skills requirement training comes into the DT journey and suggests that mindset is key here (citing Carol Dweck's book Mindset). Businesses need a mix of fixed and growth mindset to get things done now but also to adapt to the future. He talks about the importance of bringing the fixed mindset employee with you to strip away worry and re-frame the new as an opportunity for the business and individuals alike.
They discuss the false notion that Digital Transformation automatically means a people are going to lose jobs and everything is going to be automated. And goes into detail how you might combat that fear, using real-world examples.
Skills & Learning - In conversation with Steve Plummer
Over the the past 2-3 years This is Milk has become heavily involved in the world of upskilling & reskilling, with the creation of an award winning training programme, multiple client run training programmes (conducted around the world), and an in-depth research project looking at international best practice to direct Scottish Government in ongoing activities.
It has been a journey born from our want and desire as a business to solve problems, initially to tackle the issue of the digital skills gap in Scotland, swifty moving on and thinking larger to see us traveling the world and growing a community of experts that both advises and drives everything we do. One of these experts is local business transformation expert, Steve Plummer, who since meeting not much longer than 2 years ago, is now not just one of our trusted trainers, mentors and consultants, but a member of the This is Milk family.
Prior to a number of weeks ago, it was found that 70% of working professionals spent at least 1 day a week working remotely (IWG), with 53% working at least half of the week out of the office.
Remote working is not a new term, however it has been thrust into spotlight in recent weeks with many now forced into their homes for an unknown length of period trying to make the best out of this difficult situation.
Make no mistake, for many, working from home (remotely) is not an easy transition or something that they are even set up for. Many have no desks at which to sit, poor lighting maybe, potentially children running around mad, not to even mention the isolation from colleagues and friends.
It is understandable that this challenge for many, has been nothing if not, well challenging.
(Click 'Read More' to watch video recording of our 'Remote Working & Facilitation' session, as well as being able to download slides)
Having the confidence to acknowledge skills or subject weakness and turn them into strengths is just one way that a current Digital Transformation Programme student managed to land their new dream job.
Words from a current Digital Transformation Programme student
“After only 2 weeks in the programme I had started to ask myself, what are the things that I’m scared of and why am I avoiding these things?
The DTP helped to shine a light on the elements of my mindset that I wasn’t facing up to. The early on Personal Branding & Intrapreneurship workshops made me look at situations in my life and ask questions. I wrote down what I wanted to work on and took the time at home to build resilience to the negative aspects of my career.
I realised that I was not the only one who didn’t know everything, I didn’t have to avoid situations. I could be assertive and directly change how I dealt with these situations.
This change in attitude has been incredible. Jobs that I wouldn’t normally have applied for, I was confident to take on. My new-found resilience and mindset have made me stronger when it comes to the interview process also. I walked in feeling strong and confident. Any areas of weakness in my skill set or experience, I was able to counter with my ability to go and learn. The programme has proven that I can learn new skills and build on these at home, any weaknesses have become strengths and I was judged on my ability as a person.
I am now in a dream job that 4 months ago I would never have applied for. I’m feeling confident about myself, confident in my ability to do the job and less worried about any gaps in skillset that may arise over the coming months, even years.
A lack of something is no longer a weakness for me.”
Student of the Digital Transformation Programme
Transformation Lead, This is Milk
Increasingly we are seeing and hearing that digital facilitators do not have the right skills in organisations to do the job both now and in the future.
So in typical This is Milk fashion we did something about it and created the Digital Transformation Programme, shortlisted for a BIMA innovation award 2018.
Managing Consutant, This is Milk