October 24, 2018 / 1:45 PM / a year ago

A New Era of Growth

A company’s ability to keep up in this fast-paced world of technological change and innovation isn’t just about the technology itself - it’s about people.

The pressure within a business to innovate and drive change is becoming greater. A sense that you need to ‘move with the times’ - transform - or get left behind. We are on the cusp of a potential new era of growth seeing new ways of working become the norm, new technology being adopted and automation taking a significant number of the more manual tasks being done today. Over the coming years the pace of change will continue to increase - so to succeed it’s not about simply changing processes over to digital ways of working - or simply ‘doing digital’ better - the focus instead needs to be on ‘being digital’. Changing established ways of working within a business to be recreated from the ground up with digital as their core and embedding this as part of a company’s culture. It’s something that’s affecting all sectors.

Customers and consumers are increasingly tech-savvy and are demanding more from the services and businesses they come in to contact with. They expect convenience, personalisation and speed - all in ways that wouldn’t be possible with old workflows simply adapted for digital. A rethinking of that relationship is needed - because the ways in which customers interact with businesses are fundamentally shifting. Whether it’s through apps or other online platforms, customers demand a seamless interaction with a business - they expect one-click convenience.

A Unique Approach

LAB are an agency that have a unique approach which is helping businesses embrace that changing relationship, bridging technology and people. To truly embrace digital transformation, the leading players lift their businesses across four key areas:

1.              Research and data to drive strategy
2.              Technology and creativity for execution
3.              Vision and leadership shaping culture
4.              Team structures and new ways of working allowing fast delivery

LAB help their clients to do this while also applying their unique experience of neuromarketing, behavioural economics and psychology to create experiences that create high emotional engagement and levels of memorability which  transforms performance with customers and clients. Across the programmes of work running with recent clients they were able to either half the cost of acquisition or double conversion rates.

There can be a lot of negativity around the idea of massive digital change and (perhaps understandably) there can be resistance from within businesses. LAB however want to help companies focus on the positives and help them understand that there’s massive opportunities if a company can fully embrace digital - making ‘being digital’ a focus. Ultimately, regardless of a company’s current opinion about these technological shifts we’re seeing, everything is moving forwards at a rapidly increasing pace - change will occur whether they’re there to embrace the opportunities or not.

The Transformation Upside

There’s a range of possible benefits that LAB says can come from true digital transformations:

- The collapsing of value chains - directly connecting consumers to the person that creates value, meaning more personal (and potentially profitable) relationships with customers.

- The convenience and cost-saving aspects of simplifying and speeding up the process of interaction - for example the way online checkouts can be reduced from 5 (or more) steps to simplified 1-click ordering.

- Augmented decision making – the partnership of new technologies with a team’s knowledge, experience and expertise. Fundamentally people enabled through technology to make better decisions.

And if you look at the stats digital rewards first movers and some superfast followers—the fleetest companies enjoy more than double the three-year revenue growth rate of companies playing it safe. But only one in six companies is creating a bold strategy at scale, even if nine out of ten companies say they’re engaged with digitization. (source McKinsey).

Culture and Leadership

For an organisation to be successful with a digital transformation (and indeed, once they’ve ‘transformed’) they need to create fast decision making frameworks and feedback loops - reducing the amount of time it takes to get new ideas to market. The culture needs to be one that obsesses over its consumers by constantly challenging the status quo and their standard ways of working. Is this what the market really wants? Can I improve the experience of the people I’m serving?

This kind of growth mindset should be applied both internally and externally. Within an organisation the culture needs to be one that’s constantly seeking to improve its leadership and organisational competence across all levels, alongside improving knowledge of their customer’s intrinsic and emotional needs.

And we know that that effective styles of leadership have changed dramatically over recent years. The skills required of a workforce - and indeed, those leading them - continues to evolve. It’s up to businesses to respond to these developments. At its core it’s about visionary leadership taking over from a ‘command and control’ style of leadership. When we talk about a cultural shift we see that leaders of a business directly influence a disproportionate percentage of the culture (around 70%), and 70% of that is driven by how those leaders respond in a crisis. And in a world where the ground is always moving it’s worth keeping those figures front of mind. Change has to come from the top and run right through an organisation.

This culture needs to be one that has a willingness to fail, learn, and adapt - or, in other words, an open environment where new ideas and ways of working can surface within a company. With the fast pace of change this is the only way that companies will be truly able to make transformation work - make it a constant process. That is what truly shows when a company has our digital world as part of its culture.

The question for us all to continually ask is: How bold is our transformation strategy and are we leading the way or being left behind?

For further insight into the 4 pillars of digital transformation, read Tom’s article here

The Reuters editorial and news staff had no role in the production of this content. It was created by Reuters Plus, part of the commercial advertising group. To work with Reuters Plus, contact us here.

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