In a recent meeting with a client about a potential investment in digital industry, the term “Digital Transformation” came up to the agenda and provoked a lot of discussion around the table due apparent misconceptions by the Board members of the company.
Many different concepts are presently being used interchangeably around the digital transformation scope, making the rational assumption of this movement a difficult task for many organizations.
In order to clear up the situation, one of the Board members asked me to explain my own vision about the context of this subject in a very simple way. That was a good opportunity to share a model designed some time ago during a “thinking battle” in my consultancy agency.
“Thinking battle” – Regular sessions where consultants are challenged to put buzzwords in a rational design workflow or simple models, with the goal to make them crystal clear for everyone to understand and also to check all the sense behind the buzz
In one of the sessions, the DRM Digital Revolution Model© was designed to help small companies and start-ups to think about the exact point where they are within digital transformation:
The Basic 2 Dimensions: Internal Mindset and External Influence
If you pretend to adopt a digital transformation in your organization, like a sustainable strategy approach, you need to improve 2 forces in the same direction:
- Internal Mindset:
Asking a simple question – How are you changing your organization toward digital transformation? – Pointing where you are at the present moment about your internal digital efforts and capabilities.
- External Influence:
Asking a simple question – How are you changing your market? – Pointing where you are at the present moment about your digital disruption.
The more you invest in a strong digital mindset aligned with your market influence, the better your company is placed to discover potential business transformation experiences and opportunities.
The Assessment: 4 Stages of Evolution
1. Curious Adopter
You have a basic, static or classical digital presence (website or other) but no other efforts are in place to take a step to a further level, like a strategy plan or other future initiatives.
The higher your business is dependant of digital evolution, the bigger is the risk to your company being exposed to a strong “Digital Darwinism” movement in your industry or sector.
Recommendation: Review your mindset and take a deep breath over the purpose of your business, thinking where you can win most within digital industry.
2. Serious Adopter
You have an active digital presence and a strong mindset toward digital initiatives but your market influence is low. You probably want to “change the world” but you are not there yet.
If you are giving strong signs to market (customers and competitors) that something should come up from your company or brand you need to manage carefully that expectation, otherwise it can be work against you.
Recommendation: You achieved a great mindset to digital relevancy. Take your efforts to the next level – Actions! Make it happen.
3. Respectful Adopter
You are doing a great job having digitalized many processes and creating a higher level of automation within your business. That helps you to gain respect from the market and admiration from your customers, but digitalization doesn’t mean literally “transformation” when you are selling the same product with the same purpose, even more efficiently.
Many companies suffer from the “innovation effect” after digitalized their businesses, apparently assuming this effort as the ultimate innovation, but a step forward is still missing to a real digital disruption.
Your competition with stronger mindset toward digital transformation can surpass your market influence.
Recommendation: Improve your digital thinking at this level of influence – You must perceive what value can be unique for your customer experience that represents a proven transformation for your industry.
You are making a new market and creating completely new experiences never done before – You are transforming the life of many people with your product.
You became the reference, the standard and the history everyone would love to hear. Many other industries are probably learning from your goal.
Recommendation: You are the Captain now – With the great transformation comes the great responsibility – Continuous value can be found from your vision and great new insights & foresights will help you to predict the future.
Do your own DRM© Thinking
This is a very simple approach to help and stimulate your digital transformation thinking as a starting initiative. Feel free to use the DRM© to check the present stage of your company or to implement your own model.
Andre Zeferino is the author of the book “Digital Marketing Analytics – Optimize o valor da sua estratégia digital” (PT version only) published in Nov.2016 by Sabedoria Alternativa Edições