Author Archives: hesty

Digital or Business Transformation

Digital transformation refers to the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. Digital transformation may be thought as the third stage of embracing digital technologies: digital competence → digital literacy → digital transformation. The latter stage means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in a particular domain, rather than simply enhance and support the traditional methods.

– Wikipedia

It has been more than 30 years since computers had been introduced into business world. With the help of, powerful mobile devices and high connectivity, now we are living in a momentary world that is evolving so fast towards digital that now digital transformation is inevitable.

Most of the C-Levels in corporations started to pay more and more attention to Digital Transformation. They believe, without this transformation, even a long-established company may extinct. It is the Kodak example they are afraid of. To be honest, the risk is there, however is ‘Digital Transformation’ just enough?

Marketing, sales, manufacturing, finance processes should all be digitised in order to fulfil the transformation. It includes working anywhere anytime, broader and faster communication, enterprise integration that would enable performance & efficiency improvements.

That is all well planned and should be executed step by step. Yet can you imagine any change to be internalised without a holistic approach? Without embarking every team member, adjusting / improving their competencies, engaging them all around the same evolving mindset…

That’s why, we believe this topic should be handled with a broader scope and it is the reason behind we like to call it a “Business Transformation’ rather than a Digital Transformation.

In other words Business Transformation shall handles the topic more broadly including mindset and organisations, leadership and entrepreneurial mindset, education and pragmatic planning.

Your Business Transformation journey is unique

Every company has its own inner dynamics and every category has its own realities hence your journey should be tailor made to your business. When there is so much at stake, it is not an easy task to move the rocks around, without rigor planning, sufficient on-boarding, kicking off the new mindset with an adjusted organisational structure.

The internal impact – Mindset & Organisation

Any change in a company first impacts its own resources, starting from human. Top-down transformation approaches tend to stay at the top level with Digital Transformation Teams, causing manager level (or further) to think it is not their business. The only way to beat the resistance to change is to embark the resistors ASAP.

Corporate and entrepreneurial mindsets are two far ends thus moving from one to other is not given. However, with the power of a corporate company, an entrepreneur mindset can achieve higher goals sooner. That’s why, we should keep on increasing skills of the individuals in our organisation, empowering them to move forward within the team.

The Impact on Consumer Experience

Digital transformation for the consumer end includes an architecture of your digital ecosystem to be able to do better listening, segmentation and tracking, enabling you to increase your digital media investments efficiency, letting you to fish where the fishes are. All these changes will definitely have a positive impact on your consumer engagement and thanks to the new tools, we will be able to measure the ROI of your campaigns / activities.

Step by Step Approach

As said, digital transformation is a key stage throughout this journey. All your existing processes should be analysed with expert analysts according to the dynamics of your company and industry. Only after then, a solution can be determined and tailored to your needs. The gains here are not necessarily immediate, therefore long term investments should be planned with an entrepreneur mindset.

All in all, Digital Transformation is inevitable in this era, we just need think it as broad as it requires to land it well in your organisation. As Portera we are committed to understand, analyse together and help you build the right organisation to reach this new mindset fully.

Success in the Digital Age Requires Extraordinary Retail Leaders

Retail leaders in the digital age

Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal 1. But how can retailers lead and influence their staff during this digital disruption? Maybe it’s time to challenge retail leadership says Ken Silay, Partner, Innovator’s Equation. Ken suggests writing for Innovative Retail Technologies that “The truth is retail is run by old thinking and old metrics” and “difference between the old and new thinking in business creates a gap in retail leadership that will continue to get wider”.

Dr Ganesh Shermon, Managing Partner for “R for C Talent Management Solutions” (North America) recently highlighted the challenges retailers face. He said that retailers are confronted with dramatic managerial changes, given the convergence of the human mind, (Intellect), behavioral psychology (Cognitive), smart machines, and deep learning science and knowledge (Neural networks) as the basis for management actions. That’s really a mouth full!

The truth is that the old way of leading a retail business does not work anymore. But what should retailers do to get their businesses on par with the digital age?

Strategies that leaders should consider in the Digital Age

Prof Kamal Kishor Jain, Head of HR and Business Psychology Department at IIM Indore, recently said digital age leaders need to acknowledge the limits of their expertise. Additionally, the leaders should build a reliable network of knowledgeable experts to help them navigate through their choices. Prof Jain suggests the following:

Speed – is the most distinguishing characteristic of the digital age. No matter how fast you are moving to transform your business; the depressing reality is that you still probably aren’t moving fast enough.

Knowledge creation – we need to become more right brained to compete and survive. Leadership is not a noun, it’s a verb. The real charismatic leader is one who disseminates knowledge into his subordinates.

Primarily leadership qualities – leaders should be daring, caring and sharing. ‘Failing fast’ and ‘falling forward’ are critical precursors to success in the digital era. Such disruptive change requires leaders to be caring about people are affected by such changes. It is only by caring that a leader can elicit support from followers.

The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an initiative of IMD business school and Cisco, and HR consultancy metaBeratung, have identified four competencies (HAVE) that business leaders need in order to excel in the era of digital disruption:

Humble – in an age of rapid change, knowing what you don’t know can be as valuable in a business context as knowing what you do. Therefore, digital leaders need a measure of humility, and a willingness to seek diverse inputs both from within and outside their organisations.

Adaptable – in a complex and changing environment, an ability to adapt is critical. The global reach of digital technologies has opened up new frontiers for organizations, shrinking once insurmountable continental divides and erasing traditional boundaries between territories. Dealing with the cultural and business impacts of this requires adaptability.

Visionary – in times of profound disruption, clear-eyed and rational direction finding is needed. Therefore a clear vision, even in the absence of detailed plans, is a core competency for digital leaders.

Engaged – painting visions for the future, successfully communicating these visions and being adaptable enough to change them, requires constant engagement with stakeholders. This broad-based desire to explore, discover, learn and discuss with others is as much a mind-set, as it is a definable set of business-focused activities or behaviors.

How can leaders change their retail business to digital?

It is impossible for retailers to change overnight from doing their things the old way to embracing the digital economy. Indeed, the process must get started and in quick time. Therefore, the ability to digitally re-imagine the business is determined in large part by a clear digital strategy supported by leaders who foster a culture able to change and invent the new 3. Kane et al proposed the following strategies for retailers to use getting their business to the digital age:

Create a strategy that transforms – when developing a more advanced digital strategy; the best approach may be to turn the traditional strategy development process on its head.

Get the right people for job – just as important as developing talent is reducing the risk of losing it.

Take risks – to boost risk taking in their companies, executives need to change their mind-sets.

Sparking new ideas – many new ideas arise through collaborative efforts among people of different backgrounds.

Telling the story – storytelling is becoming a popular means of gaining employee buy-in and organizational traction for digital transformation.

After all, it will probably require an extraordinary retail leaders to facilitate the move of their businesses from analogue to digital.

Digital Strategy Doesn’t Need to Be Overwhelming

If you have been studying digital transformation, website design, social media methods, online marketing or reading my recent articles, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. It might seem like you need to have a masters degree and five years of experience in pretty much everything to do with the web to even start to develop a digital strategy. Many business owners decide to quit early and stick to traditional model and methods.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of doing business are becoming less effective. People are switching their business behaviors and doing everything online. You could be doing everything right, but not turning as much profit as your competitor and possibly working a lot harder as well. How do you get out of this fix?

Get help from someone who knows

We’ve lost count of the number of seasoned businessmen we have shocked when we presented a full digital strategy to them. There are so many components that have to work together to make it work. The first impression they have is, “My goodness, I’m not a digital guru! I don’t have time to learn this and keep my business going!” In short, they panic.

It’s true, there is a lot to keep up with. Not only that, but things like the online marketing landscape is always changing making it even more difficult. Google algorithm changes, pay per click or PPC ad placement shifts, new social media portals, new acceptable use policies, and many other things require digital strategists to constantly be on their toes. In fact, I would say 95% of all marketers don’t know how to properly implement a digital strategy. The technology and mindset is so new and so fast-paced that it’s hard to keep up unless you’re in the thick of it every day.

Part of what a digital strategist should do for you is to take away all that stress and just make online strategies work. Any good strategist will remove the feeling of being overwhelmed by your digital strategy and things like social media and website conversions become a source of excitement and not stress. Our clients tell us that by turning websites into conversion engines, we help them, as business owners, focus on their core business, while also building positive online reputation.

Doing it yourself can kill your business

Being an entrepreneur myself, I really respect business owners that try to dive in but this can hurt more than it helps if they haven’t done adequate research. Many business owners make the big mistake of thinking that SEO is the digital strategy. This is just a tiny component if at all anymore but businesses fall prey to companies that hound your business with “get ranked quickly ” schemes but if it’s done incorrectly, it could get your business completely wiped off of the search engines. Again, SEO is not a digital strategy, it is just a small component but let’s spend a moment on it.

SEO is a big culprit here. SEO is a set of methods used to boost the visibility of your website on search engines. If you’re easier to find, and ranked higher on the page, the more likely your site is to be clicked on. Sounds reasonable, but there’s a lot of ways that people have tried to manipulate the rankings over the years. Using methods that worked back in 2012 or earlier could get your site de-listed. Many of the strategies from that era focused on manipulating links back to your site in ways that went against Google’s core mission. When they implemented their Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates to their engine, many sites got trashed in the rankings. Not just small time businesses either. JC Penny had to completely start over with their overall SEO strategy after they got hit by these updates.

Does that in itself sound overwhelming? If you don’t know where to begin, or if you thought you implemented a digital strategy and it’s just not gaining any traction, hire a digital strategist to transform your business. The investment is well worth your time and instead of just losing market share to your competitors you could start taking some of theirs!