18 media executives were asked about their own digital transformations. They shared their learning from 2020 with the group.
The group agreed that both managing down and up during this time of change is amplified in a remote working environment. They found both had become harder but had found new ways of working to adapt quickly. The most important answer to this question was communication.
If leaders have a strong vision, their change plan will trickle down throughout the organisation. The group's suggestions to enable this, based on their experience, included:
One organisation suggested using employee feedback surveys to manage digital vision from the bottom up. They used the top three challenges that came out of their employee surveys to create engagement groups with people from different levels, across different teams.
Reverse mentoring is a good way to connect junior and senior colleagues. It also allows for more frequent feedback about senior colleagues, providing it can be done honestly.
The shock was of course profound, and the group widely agreed that the initial change was hard to manage. For example, one organisation cancelled 70% of its advertising campaigns in one week. However, their organisations did understand the need for change.
One organisation had managed to produce a newspaper and a website with all staff working remotely, and had found it liberating.
It’s a matter of necessity versus desire: the appetite may not have increased but the need has been enormous.
We are constantly evolving now. Even if the vision and strategy changes, there will still be the feeling that more is needed. For example, the back office has not changed as much as the front, and that needs to happen. This is more difficult if decision-making processes have not yet changed. Furthermore, there is a necessity to be agile and to optimise the market that we’re in. We need to facilitate decision-making without rushing to do something that we’ll regret later.
The positive thing about 2020 is that it showed the art of the possible. We have achieved so much this year, such as health hubs and supporting the battle against COVID. Of course, we must not forget how tough it’s been. We need to find a way to handpick the great things from 2020 and combine them with the best parts of the old world.
Consider what customers want. They select a product, then a partner, then begin. While they’re doing that, they need to look at processes, people, and what needs to change.
People and processes need amending more than the technology. Technology companies should be an enabler of the change to which the customer has already committed. Business partners such as BrightGen can guide you, so make use of their expertise.
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Finding a perfect blend of systems and process is the dream, so think outside the box.
Take opportunities to challenge the status quo on processes and focus on standardising and streamlining.
If the behaviours are wrong, then your technology investment will be compromised.
These three elements will generate your benefits, and take the organisation to the next step. They can each be led by different people. Therefore, you need to work out how to integrate them, and how they can be relevant across the teams.
You may start off with company-wide values and behaviours. But you’ll need to go back and refine what those values actually mean based on what actions are needed, what needs to change, and how to motivate people to get involved. It’s a process of constant refinement.