Not every organisation is convinced of the need for establishing a digital strategy as it may be considered to be a rather theoretical exercise and talk that goes above people’s heads. Moreover, the organisation’s management is required to set aside a considerable amount of precious time for this.
As organisations are operating in a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous), dealing with globalisation, market disruptions, and the fast pace at which technology evolves, it pushes them to think ahead and constantly adapt or even re-invent themselves or run the risk of becoming obsolete. This creates a need for transforming traditional business models into a more flexible and future-oriented vision, mission, and strategy.
Companies with a strong digital strategy often find themselves on the forefront when it comes to products and service innovation. Forward thinking is essential in order to be prepared for the future, and recognising future challenges and needs will increase the credibility and importance of innovation in creating value for the entire organisation. Strategic planning is not a once-a-year exercise but demands re-evaluation and updates at regular intervals for being in sync with this fast-changing reality.
A sound exchange of opinions within the organisation on the purpose of a digital innovation, identifying those topics that are of relevance to your organisation, sets the baseline for a more thorough strategy exercise. Capture opinions on what topics must, at the minimum, be part of a digital strategy and attempt to commonly set the boundaries of it, avoiding this from becoming an excessively extended scope with the risk of not being able to conclude it within a reasonable timeframe. Each topic that was prioritised may then be looked at from different angles and perspectives, depending on each person’s and each department’s specific situation or role within the organisation. This will help to broaden the discussion, thereby creating a more diverse view and outcome.
Ask yourself the following basic question: What could be the consequences if do we not establish a digital innovation strategy? Can we be successful as an organisation without an up-to-date strategy? One also might want to address the question on who the stakeholders are, within and external to the organisation? Ensuring involvement of these stakeholders at regular intervals and keeping them updated on your progress and intermediate results is essential for reaching a successful outcome.
Jan Verbruggen – Managing Partner