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How To Hone Digital In 2018

The beginning of every new year is the time for predictions.

Let’s be honest. Predictions are rarely about what’s going to happen in the twelve next months but rather a list of things we’d like to happen because looking at the state and maturity of the market is so depressing that we try to find a pretext for dreaming a little bit. Rather a cry for help than a sound analysis.

Predictions are to experts what bloopers are to TV channels : an easy and not time consuming way to produce content, hoping that some dreams will come true.

So rather than predictions, here’s a list of topics I’d like businesses to become more aware of. Some will say that many businesses already get that but my focus is not the top 10 businesses that have both a sound vision and the capabilities to deliver on it (even if sometimes the gap between what they say and what they’ve achieved is huge) but the large number of “average” businesses, either large, small or medium, that are still hesitating and struggle to make decisions :

Reheating dishes is not possible anymore : today we say “digital” but there are still recurring issued that have been around for more than 10 years and endlessly come back with a new name. Avoiding to fix them is not possible anymore.

• Digital is a line of business and functional matter. Digital is everywhere so it’s nowhere in particular and it requires organizational and managerial approached.  That explains the previous point.

• No wild rush forward anymore. Endlessly trying to catch the next big thing makes digital a technology issue owned by geeks and too much dispersion prevents deep transformation.

• Forget big data. It’s a catch-all word that does not mean anything anymore. Instead adopt an applied approach (customer understanding etc), all the more since most businesses should start to make something out of their small data first.

• Clients should calm down. Online behaviors are more and more aggressive, critical, with an obvious bad faith or misunderstanding of matters. Online relationships tend to put the brand safety of businesses in danger. Until the day they’ll leave online conversations ?

• Don’t be frustrated nor destructive. By claiming that you want to make jobs and people useless, that anything or anyone 1.0 must die without wondering if what’s coming is better there’s no surprise if the people inside and outside your organization resist to transformation.

• Forget the millennials. They are that that different from others, do not agree with how they’re being depicted and are fed up to be used as pretexts for flawed programs or offerings.

• Find your real enemy in the IT. Your enemy is not the CIO that slows you down but the security of data you’re making flow from one system to another, from one API to another with nobody having a clear idea of what’s plugged into what because lines of businesses have done things under the radar.

• Destroy your digital departments and your CDO. In 2017 either they’ve succeeded or prove they were useless. Digital is a matter or business, not of digital.

• Stop making your clients stupid. If your definition of digital is “content delivery machine that turns clients into passive consumers of brand content and brainwash them”, you’ll get the clients you deserve.

• Stop thinking that digital is a customer-related issue. It’s an internal issue that projects on the customer.

• Be agile everywhere. It’s nice to be trendy and deliver projects the agile way but if people on the field have daily sprint meetings and the rest of the organizations, most of all managers and leaders have monthly meetings to fix problems and make decisions you’ll have a problem soon.

• Consumerize your organization : there is no reason why the approaches and concepts used to streamline and improve the customer experience won’t fit inside your organization to improve the employee experience and, consequently, operational excellence.

So you’ve avoided a very long post going deep into details for each point because….I’ll deal with each of them, one by one, in a series of post starting net week.

Happy 2018 !


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