April 09, 2020 - 1426 views|
While much uncertainty surrounds the COVID-19 crisis, it's clear the best way forward is to accelerate digital business change.
Digital business change can be vexing to C-level executives, even in ordinary times. Amid a worldwide crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, what was once considered somewhat complex is exponentially more challenging as unforeseen issues surface.
For starters, there are semantic issues. Many senior leaders dislike the word “digital” because it's often misused (i.e., all technology is digital) and rarely defined in business terms. This makes it difficult to get the buy-in required from stakeholders to get a digital initiative started. But despite the added challenges posed by the pandemic, the very presence of digital can be a saving grace for some organizations.
The Starting Point
Throughout my client interactions, I’ve seen common factors at an array of enterprises that have helped them jumpstart a successful endeavor. Among these is a well-defined strategy. Even during the COVID-19 crisis, this foundational pillar still applies.
Any successful digital business program starts by establishing and answering the “why” – what is needed in the market, and which of our offerings needs to be digitally enhanced? Are we slow to market? Has our growth stalled? Answering these questions can be vital to understanding why the digital initiative is important. Once a company establishes the “why,” it can begin to strategize on the how, what and when parts of the program.
One thing I’ve learned in my experience is that there’s no single defined path to being a digitally enhanced business. Be flexible with the twists and turns (in the vein of iteration and collaboration), while adhering to your well-defined strategy.
A Survival Guide
The following tried-and-true tips apply to any digital initiative – current crisis notwithstanding:
Organizations worldwide are feeling the rippling effects of COVID-19 on the health of people and businesses. While much uncertainty surrounds how companies respond, evolve and grow, one thing is clear: The best way forward is to accelerate digital change. The thinking, tactics and strategies needed to weather today’s COVID-19 calamity will pay off by enabling organizations to be better positioned for whatever emerges once the crisis subsides.