360-degree view of your own digital acceleration
Improving yourself is always a journey of discovery. Of course, you can try and practice blindly and along the way you will certainly make progress. It is smarter to gain insight: things that are going well, but also points that lend themselves to improvement. As a passionate windsurfer, I occasionally allow myself a 360 view from the outside with a camera – a kind of self-assessment. Similarly, the right tools and resources are available for organizations that want to transform and accelerate digitally.
For digital acceleration, you need to know where digitalization is progressing too slowly before you can kick things into high gear. It could be that in the customer domain, things are moving fast, with for example ‘next best actions’ or streaming data. In contrast, there are more possibilities in the factory or on the asset side. Where do you stand? Where are there still large gaps to bridge?
Data is the main driver of digitalization, most of the time in conjunction with the application of new technological possibilities, such as equipping maintenance workers with VR glasses or placing sensors in a production environment and physical assets. An important aspect of digital acceleration is that organizations must be equipped to do so – with the right competencies they can make the step to a successful digitalization of the business model or even to a new digital business model.
Equip your business for digital acceleration
This often starts with the board, but the rest of the organization must not be left behind either. Assessments, but also training, internal and external academies focus on the human factor. Sometimes it means that the board chooses a different approach. For example, by deciding that data management, in addition to being a centrally supported matter with tools and guidelines, is largely the responsibility of the users themselves. This brings the data closer to the business, which can then steer it.
Just as I am doing nowadays as a windsurfer… For some time, there have been waterproof cameras that you can connect to your rigging. In this way, you can record your own actions and share them with others, for example. Nowadays, these cameras are so advanced that they film everything around you as if a drone were to follow you. A Matrix-like sensation. Combined with the ability to control and edit on a good cell phone, you literally have a 360-degree view of yourself and the circumstances in your hands. An ideal assessment tool to improve yourself based on recorded facts!
In data-driven organizations, such a look at yourself in practice often leads to remarkable results. For example, for a business team that will deal with data, it is important that the algorithms are developed further and calibrated regularly. If this is not done, there is a risk of erroneous conclusions. To this end, the business should hire a data scientist, all the while the business manager would rather hire a project manager who will help him or her to increase turnover in the short term. The board can prevent such perverse incentives by appointing/setting targets for digitalization in addition to revenue or margin. Otherwise, the behavior will not change.
As mentioned above, the human component in digital acceleration and transformation plays an important role. A close collaboration with HR, for the continuous learning and development of talent, is crucial. For each individual, role and position, attention should be paid to culture, leadership and knowledge of, for example, business context and stakeholders, in addition to professional development.
The essence of the story is: digitalization is in the people. Often the weakest link at first, but with the most potential. The assessment should focus especially on all those people involved, practical and context dependent. Digital consultants determine where the most important gaps are, but also where the best business cases are. In other words: where is the biggest difference to be made per unit of time?
As a windsurfer, I’m going through this transformation; from sharing great moments to taking a critical look at myself, not least via friends’ feedback (my own windsurfing consultants) on my 360-degree self-assessment. This is how we ultimately reach greater heights through digital means. I assure you it works!