The acceleration and pace of the digital movement is staggering.
Upheavals in all businesses is at a point where studies are showing that organisations that do not keep up with the pace of digitisation and the workplace practices around that and Artificial Intelligence (AI), will be out of business within the next five years.
One part of the new “Digital Workplace” is preserving, automating or integrating some of the data with real-time systems ensuring that you adopt an agile environment, keeping the competition at bay whilst continuously monitoring your customer experience to ensure it is personalised and relevant; all whilst keeping the best employees at your helm.
The other part of the business is the innovation, research and development arm, keeping up with the Uber-type trends, ensuring that you do not become the next victim of disruption in the digital age by one of the young kids of this world that these tech companies like Google and Amazon are employing and paying a lot of money, to take out unwieldy, stuck-in-the-old-days models and ways of doing business.
However, in an article by the Harvard Business Review in 2013, many companies are failing in the digital age due to a clear lack of an innovation strategy… and on top of that, CEOs are stating that it is their number one issue to stay ahead of the game; yet very few are executing effectively on these strategies. This is a huge gamble, because with Artificial Intelligence (AI) looming to the fore and the vast amounts of data that is being interpreted by computer systems, the one very (and only) advantage these companies will have over AI and their competitions will be their innovation.
So, what are the new rules of working in a Digital Environment?
Having worked in some of the largest global organisations for over a decade, these are my predictions.
- Companies need to implement and adopt new innovation models for Digital workplaces, their people and customers. This means in some instances, changing the entire structure. When 911 happened, I had just left the travel industry and some travel and travel-related companies fired nearly everyone due to the economic times that ensued and started again from scratch, giving them the edge to come back as stronger brands which were more aligned to the new and changing times. They started with a clean sheet of paper and then asked “How should our business now look?”
Maybe this is an option that needs to be considered in some organisations, so that new methodologies can be employed for the seismic shifts coming our way.
- All organisations should be utilising instantaneous real-time data analytics with various routes to market in all forms of digital, Internet of things (IOT) and Cloud methodologies and looking for their customer experience. Marketing controlling this aspect of a customer interaction as the sole outlet is outdated. Leadership teams need to set new go to market models that incorporates a whole new way of interacting and thinking about their customers ensuring that the customer experience is at the forefront of any innovation strategy.
- Obsessing and demanding innovation from your employees. Many ranks in a lot of organisations have what I call “digital natives”, and these teams should be demonstrating powerfully how their digital fluency can design digital mastery in innovative environments. For everyone employed with you, the leadership teams should be asking “How do we leverage our employees effectively to adapt to our customer’s journey and their digital needs, along with providing them value and exceptional service for the future with fresh innovative ideas?” – and then structure teams to ensure those ideas are executed upon.
- Capitalise on the flaws and limitations that are currently in AI, which relates to the acquiring and understanding of common sense or predicting of “new knowledge”. Your leadership teams need to garner an innovation strategy that implicitly demands intuition, foresight and insight along with fast, efficient and profitable execution strategies for any digital workplace. This is what I call Digital Intuition and should be incorporated into bullet point number three. Demanding this type of innovation from your employees is paramount!
- Customers are savvier then ever in this digital age and it is only going to increase. We have a five-year-old son who learned coding at four and robotics at five years of age. He can play Minecraft better than some 12 and 13-year-old children, due to the fact that he started his life off with a digital device (thanks to having techie parents). We have to remember that the iPad only came about in 2010, so this generation that is now six are already way ahead of even kids now coming to the fore in our workplaces. As consumers, they will demand and expect more than ever in a whole new way. These kids should be listened to and studied as a way of “how to sell to, how they want to purchase and how to use push and pull marketing tactics and ways of doing business.”
So what does it all mean?
If you look at the old ways of doing business and the ever-changing future pace of a digital environment and AI, it is no longer acceptable for organisations to be set up in these old environmental ways. In other words, the original ways of doing business at all levels will be an archaic way under a new AI framework.
So, gather up the team, set in some new and unique ways of thinking about business which is under intuition, insight and foresight methodologies to enable them now for a powerful new future for your business.
With my Military hat on, the compass is changing direction and all organisations need to change now and reassess the landscape. This needs to start at the CEO, shareholder and board level to keep up with the pace of that change so they can then filter it down in a clear and consistent message.
The world as we know it is in a flux of exciting change and I welcome it and shall adapt to it in line with watching how and what our son and his friends will be doing, in regard to moving into their digital AI future workplaces and workspaces and continuously thinking about ideas, ideas and more ideas!
What will you be doing?
Rechel’s session at DWCAU is:
Posted August 1, 2017 in: Event by The Digital Workplace Conference