MIT’s Business Lab Podcast – with Bill Kanarick, EY’s global chief transformation architect for consulting – recently highlighted the opportunity to take advantage of the current momentum and move towards digital transformation. This means considering how to bring new technology and a customer-centric approach to your company.
Let’s break this down
In a world of shifting values, principles and imperatives, it’s not about predicting or identifying what’s next. Leave that for those that show good track records with their bets. It is about getting ready for what’s next.
What does that mean? You should equip your organization to be prepared for the future. Partially, that’s a function of new tech. But it’s more about your company’s attitude. You should think about the “application of humanity” and an “orientation towards value-creation.”
If you can get those two components right, you can take advantage of digital transformation.
What’s the “application of humanity”?
As Kanarick explains, it’s an enormous focus on the customer within the company.
Consider the differences between these statements:
- Prior business/mental model: “How do I get the consumer to buy more of what I’m selling?”
- New business/mental model: “How do I make more of what the customer wants to buy?”
The latter is easy to say, but hard to do. What does the customer want or need in their life? That might be understood on Monday and change by Thursday…
Still, it’s important to put in the effort to understand your customers. And make sure to do it soon.
The digital transformation imperative is now
Kanarick believes that our current market growth rate will sustain out to the end of 2023, then level off. This implies that you have another two to three years to really take your share of the opportunity to transform your business. And if you don’t, you’ll probably miss the chance to do so…
Most EY clients see this in existential terms. They recognize that there’s no guarantee their company will exist and function in quite the same way within a couple of years. They can’t predict the amount of change, other than to know there will be a significant amount of change, and they need to take advantage of the current technological momentum.
Commit to transformation
EY suggests that “digital transformation realized” means:
- Humans at the center
- Innovation at scale
- Technology at speed
How can you bring innovation at scale? Identify a series of small tools, strategies or changes that you can test and learn from. Develop confidence and momentum through this approach. Learn how to test, prototype, get to final approval and rollout. Build out your “innovation muscle”.
Digital transformation comes with risks. Organizations and teams need to learn how to mitigate this. Think about these questions:
- What could go wrong?
- Have we analyzed potential problems (such as with the FMEA model)?
- What are our limits before we have to pull back?
- When do we need to escalation a problem?
Don’t let risks stop you from moving. Remember: why do you have breaks in a car? No, it’s not only to stop or slow down. Breaks are there to give you the confidence to go faster.
Editor’s note: this article was originally posted on Medium.
For more advice on staying person-centric, read our tips on how to keep your customers coming back.
About the author
When companies like The Economist Group, PwC, NBC and Big Spaceship need help in overcoming growth blockers, barriers and drag-factors – with respect to actioning technology projects and solutions – they turn to Libby Swan and Team Axioned for help.
Swan co-founded Axioned (formerly PRDXN) in 2006 with the goal of helping clients scale through the creation of fiscally responsible technology solutions. When Swan speaks in front of these same audiences (as well as companies looking to emulate their growth), she’s serving up innovative solutions and business elevating strategies, with a hefty side order of team-building tactics and values.
Swan and her team have developed several strategies that have earned Axioned the trust of some of the biggest names in the business. Axioned provides a “Swiss army knife” as a cut-to-the-chase solution to growth blockers of all kinds. (Many happy clients enthusiastically endorse this concept.) Companies struggling with tech-product launches or tech-team stagnation utilize Swan’s and Team Axioned’s expertise to meet their next critical milestone.
Transformation and innovate with Axioned
Axioned is excited to be a part of the digital transformation journey for several clients.
We support the design and build of POCs, MVPs and v1s. We support engagements that involve incremental “test and learn” deliverables that build the “confidence and momentum” teams and clients need in order to move mountains. (And yes, we take inspiration from the EYs of the world.)