Who is responsible for the digital transformation at your company? Chief Technology and Chief Executive Offers have been wondering what type of impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on transforming the current business standards. Businesses have changed how they have traditionally operated from business travel to marketing and it is not necessarily a one-step approach. We have been impacted by this tremendous event and this requires change and adaptation from our team members. The crisis is here and although the pandemic will be waning, the aftermath of these changes will have a lingering effect.
So how do we navigate this new landscape? Financial markets, hospitals, and the hospitality industry have been hardest hit with some of the most radical disruptions we have seen in decades. How can we continue to find innovation and opportunity in this extremely difficult environment?
Learn How to Digital Partner Differently
What exactly is the meaning of to digital partner differently? This means going all in. Grab the cameras, set up the lights, it’s GO time! People have been learning very rapidly how to digital partner better. Years ago, interviews were constrained to being in person and in the same room. Businesses spent millions of dollars traveling to meet clients and today we are holding these same meeting from our phones and tablets from our home office. Now is the time to innovate around the pandemic to create those much-needed digital partnerships. Offer things that no one else in the industry is offering perhaps by adding some flair to your training offerings. Create a new service that is even more digitally driven than your competitors. Automate your customer ending processes and show them what you know. Partner with a company that offers something exciting like introductory videos or adds soothing background music to your virtual webinars. We could all use it. Make your company stand out with digital partnerships that are different.
Great companies can be born as a result of disruptive events, for example, Uber, Groupon, and Slack, that fall into this category. Look at the changes in the real estate marketplace where a prospective buyer can access a completely virtual tour of a home and meet with their client over a Zoom meeting. The need no longer exists to even step foot into the home. Many transactions are occurring without ever visiting the property and thus becoming a completely virtual experience.
Where do we get the confidence to trust these services? I think that it is from knowing that someone smarter than us innovated and created a process around something that assists in our life progression. We hope that they have thought out all of the bugs and errors along the way.
This means that we have the potential opportunity to find those bugs and address those errors in a way that is more meaningful today than perhaps previously thought. Can you find the gaps? Today, some might say we have a bigger voice because everyone has been upgraded or downgraded (depending how you look at it) to the same video-enabled internet platform. Here, in the digital arena, we are on a level playing field and as we approach the issues. There is no better time than now to humbly innovate in the industries most impacted by the crisis. Spend the time now! Launch something that the future will need and thank you for it!
Do More with Less
Can we increase operational efficiency without spending another $10,000-$20,000 on a product or service for the year? I’m sure we can do this. Drill down into your existing team and focus on the technologies that are already in use. Help everyone become more efficient. For example, have your administrative support team member or Excel Analyst host a virtual training class and invite the entire team. Have your analyst guru instruct everyone how to addresses problems in Excel and perhaps how to model data to answer specific questions about their projects. Share this information far and wide. Repeat, repeat, repeat and hope that the team recalls some specifics of the training and brings that learning into their own processes.
Are you utilizing Microsoft Teams or Slack? Are you actually using Teams for the complete project setup and project management or are you just using Team to communicate like Skype? Microsoft Teams is a very powerful collaboration tool and integrates many facets of a solid project management or workflow foundation. Having colleagues working within those boundaries, although difficult, allows for a more fluid and easier project administration. It fosters centralization and conversations around the work product which makes things easy to find and reference later.
Balance Your Short-Term Versus Long-Term Needs
As we continue to search for solutions to the problems that a company encounters, we should always consider the ways in which we can reduce risk without adding additional overhead and ensure that our team adapt to the ever-changing needs of the crisis. Setting goals for the business, much like setting personal goals, requires strategy, tactics and communication in order to make it a reality. Set your sights for a one-year goal on business operations. How do we envision our organization to be operating one year from now? At first, this question may seem nuanced and this question should be asked every year as part of a progress check to determine the reasonableness of that future vision.
What must be kept in mind is how we can change the current state which involves thinking about the systems that are currently in place. Those systems may have been flushed out and work really well or they might not be working well. The job of innovators on the team is to determine how things can work better.
Don’t Make Small Problems Bigger Than They Are
Finally, do not make problems bigger than they need to be. Solve for the immediate need of the client or supervisor and make sure not to put the task off until it is too late which could result in a missed deadline. Ask those tough questions now while you have the time to solve the problem. Think about what you are doing and don’t forget to be present in the problem solving. Sometimes the only thing stopping us from solving the problem is being fully present in the moment of solving that problem. Be a good team member by being the change agent that you would want to see in others.
- The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age By. David L. Rogers.
- Scaling New Heights: A Toolkit for SME’s Preparing for Post-COVID-19 Business By. Craig