An executive's guide to gaining alignment within the organization to ensure successful execution.
The best digital strategies alone can’t convince companies of their true value. Most businesses today understand that digital transformation is necessary not only to thrive, but to survive in unprecedented market conditions of global communication reach, global logistics capability, and restricted social interactions. This includes the transition of transactions from direct field sales to indirect dealer and distributor support. But, too often, existing business models and P&Ls don’t support the collaboration necessary to enable a digital business.
Here we’ll take a look at some best practices for aligning the people and processes that will drive the ecommerce transformation of your business.
Defining Digital Transformation
The true definition of digital transformation often gets lost within all of its moving parts. Businesses often believe it’s a simple matter of moving from bricks and mortar to a digital presence. But there is much more to that than is typically considered.
At its core, digital transformation is enabled by digitized content and rapid change capabilities. And at its best, digital transformation accounts for all phases of your customer’s journey. This begins at the initial interaction with your value proposition via referral, search, traditional media, or digital media. It continues through the first online transaction and, ideally, through many years of service and support as a repeat, loyal customer.
Ultimately, digital transformation is a radical change in how value is created, delivered, and consumed for most businesses. The first barrier to getting there is inaction. Business leaders often talk about the need to make changes, but there is a reluctance to abandon old practices in favor of new ones.
With ecommerce continually accelerating, businesses need robust digital infrastructures — and the people and processes to support them — in order to keep pace. Therefore, adopting holistic customer-centric, purposeful processes is key to a successful digital evolution. As elementary as it may sound, if you want ecommerce to change the way you do business, you must be willing to change the way you do business.
A competitive digital presence means prioritizing organizational leadership, and getting buy-in and collaboration across teams. This is the basis of a strong foundation to build upon. For most businesses, it requires a significant cultural change. So, how do you begin to put that change in motion?
The very first step is to define your aspirational vs. realistic goals. Only then can you outline real, attainable KPIs. An aspirational goal might be to achieve a 20 percent increase in revenue from new digital services within a year, for example. But the more attainable goal, which can realistically be supported, may be to achieve a 10 percent increase within 14 months.
Next, the process development necessary to give your digital transformation momentum should be scoped and sequenced to account for the different layers of your business. This includes determining what processes need to change and when. It also includes identifying what few key changes will unlock value and in what order. Furthermore, changes need to be tied to a strategy, complete with outlined roles and responsibilities, where success is measured by desired outcomes.
Here are some considerations for goal-oriented restructuring to support your digital transformation:
1. Consider the scope, sequence, and pace of change. What’s realistic given your constraints? And more importantly, what constraints are real vs. perceived? Initiatives should be mapped to specific strategies, and to specific employees who will champion different areas. No matter the exact approach, you’ll need to get specific when developing your plans for enacting change. This can include some of the following:
- Completing organizational and/or stakeholder assessments
- Identifying and selecting the levers that will impact change
- Mapping out cost and/or business case management
- Determining how success will be measured (internal and external KPI definition)
2. Consider how you’ll enact change from the top down. This could include:
- Identifying existing skill sets within your organization to help drive your digital transformation forward
- Providing and allowing time for training skill sets that don’t already exist
- Determining how your business leadership can best support change
- Being tolerant of early failures and learning curves
- Developing effective communication tactics
- Synchronizing processes
3. Leadership considerations will also be key. You’ll need to account for the following roles and responsibilities:
- Marketing the change to get everyone on board
- Coaching to implement and adopt new solutions
- Empowering people
- Encouraging participative leadership in which members of your organization work together to make decisions and identify best practices
- Capitalizing on best practices once they’ve been identified
- Sponsorship development
- Change agent development
- How will you encourage ownership to build the desired culture?
When considering the impact of culture on digital transformation, it’s important to keep the above in mind and frame roles and responsibilities based on needs.
Gorilla Group has helped many clients assess personnel to better identify and define needs. Backed by a digital mindset, and complementary processes, we can help develop the roles and responsibilities necessary to meet business goals, affect culture change, and successfully execute a digital transformation.
We’d love to learn about your digital transformation and talk about how we may be able to help. Contact us today.