How a Focus on Digital Can Push to a Very Non-Technical Conclusion

by julia.hanigsberg | February 11th, 2014

Why do organizations have trouble executing a digital strategy? A recent Spencer Stuart publication pointed to a very non-digital answer. But before getting to that, where does the push to digital come from? Or putting it another way–what do I irritatingly ask members of my team all the time? Why can’t x, y or z work like the Starbucks app on my iPhone? We, all of us as consumers, have become spoiled. We want seamless, effortless experiences across all platforms in all areas of our life. If I can buy my grande nonfat latte carrying only the phone in my pocket why can’t I submit a vacation day on e-HR on the Go Train from my android device? Or register for a class? Or book a doctor’s appointment? Or check the results of bloodwork? Our desire for an ever more integrated frictionless experience is relentless. And who can blame us?

The biggest challenge to effectively meeting this demand is collaboration. True collaboration. What is collaboration? The VP Administration & Finance set of values includes collaboration. I find over and over again that talking about collaboration and really making it happen are two different things. Really collaborating requires breaking down cultural barriers, rethinking preconceived notions of what other departments are capable of, giving up budget and other forms of “turf” to benefit other departments, and sharing credit. Collaboration–when really effective–may paradoxically cost more, take longer, and be more frustrating!

Take advantage of the digital imperative to deeply dive into collaboration. It is the only way to execute a digital strategy and also the only way to build the organizational culture we need if we want to be the best.

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