Transformation to an inclusive digital world: It is people’s business
A title that makes me tickle in advance. But simply put, it means that transformation must address two aspects: inclusive and digital.
Inclusive means encompassing everything concerned, which means including as many perspectives as relevant or as thinking from the outside in. Thinking from the perspective of your main stakeholders:
- your customers,
- your suppliers,
- your employees.
These are the parties that you work with every day, interact with, and communicate with. Everything you can do to make the use of your services simpler, easier, cheaper with a better experience for them. You can use technology for this, but that is not enough. The intended change will also need propagation by every one of your organization. By anyone who is in contact with the outside world such as customer service employees, technical service employees, sales people. Make the experience true, influence the perception, make people excited. So, it’s also about purpose: why do we do it, what do we want to achieve and how do we do it.
This transformation, therefore, requires you to delve into the other. So not only in customers with customer journeys and customer contact moments and their experiences but also from other stakeholders. Partnership with suppliers means optimal logistics chains, joint service or product development, sharing of information and knowledge development. Transformation also affects the employee experience. It is not only about interesting work, personal development and good benefits, but also about the experience they have in working with colleagues, customers and making sure they are truly involved in the transformation of the company. All this requires a good vision of the developments at play concerning the parties that we deal with daily, but also of social developments such as demographic and ecological changes. That means inclusiveness: not so much looking at what we can do better in terms of efficiency, restructuring or improvement of existing services, but looking at how we can solve problems of our stakeholders in the best possible way by developing services in collaboration with others which are a better response to the needs of our stakeholders.
It requires leadership focused on creating an innovative culture focused on how we can improve or innovate our services or do things differently, better. To achieve this, it is necessary to focus on the outside world by connecting with executives from other business sectors, science education, and opinion leaders. It is a continuous search for diversification with the question: can it be done differently, better? Interestingly enough it is the ‘people’ thing that is becoming more and more central to the digital transformation: how do we give our customers the right experience, how do we cooperate with business partners, how do we develop new services, and how do we give our employees the right experience in transforming the company.
This business transformation that we are now experiencing has been given the adjective digitally because digital developments make it possible to do many things differently:
- by exchanging data,
- linking processes,
- standardization of data,
- digital links to cooperate with business partners,
- social media,
- development of new products and services,
- deployment of artificial intelligence.
Many things are possible through digital technology. Because these changes are taking place at a rapid pace, it is very important to have a good insight into what happens in other parts of the business chain: both downstream and upstream. How are we going to position our organization in the right way? And what does that mean for our employees, the parties we work with, the way we work (design thinking) and for the users of our products and services?
No matter how digital we make it: people are central to success. If mistakes are made in digital transformation, it is almost always where the human dimension is forgotten or has disappeared.