Why Aligning Around ‘One Agenda’ Is an Early Win in the Race to Become Digital

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Jo Knight 24th October 2016 3 minute read

Why Aligning Around ‘One Agenda’ Is an Early Win in the Race to Become Digital

As the need to ‘go digital’ grows ever stronger, more of us increasingly wonder what this means.

Is it just about the new tech that keeps turning up? Such as enterprise software, now sliced and diced into bite sized apps for our work tablets?

Can it be co-incidence that your CMO has suddenly started tweeting? And that she is now encouraging everyone to become ‘social brand ambassadors’?

It can be tough to get a real sense of where all this is leading as our organisations piece together their digital game-plans. Often failing in the process to provide sufficient context and clarifying vision for those it is trying to coerce into change.

Why the Mass Migration?

Of course, it would be nice to think that things might settle down again once we arrive at this digital destination. But I doubt it. The journey we are all on is not so much an early evening stroll along the seafront. It’s more akin to a proper hike over distance. One that makes you feel you have left behind a familiar place and arrived somewhere completely new.

The heritage of the organisations we still feel comfortable in (if often frustrated by) was born during the great upheaval of the Industrial Revolution. While the ink on that blueprint has long since dried, we have continued to engage with the model. Tweaking it and honing it. In fact many enterprise careers have been spent optimising this model with ongoing rounds of business cases and promised ROIs.

But we are now in a new cycle. We are at the early stages of building new foundations rather than squeezing the pip of what’s already there. This is a different skill. How can you predict an ROI on something yet to be understood?

My hunch is that the impact of digital puts us all into a state of perpetual beta. We never arrive. It is the nature of digital that things keep morphing. And will do so at a speed we are yet to become accustomed to.  

Imagine the contrast of doing business between the 1920s and the 2020s. Most noticeable would be the pace of life.  If we ever thought digitalisation was going to going to make our lives any easier, few now believe it.

As things keep speeding up, time gets more compressed as we work faster to keep up. Maybe at some point our metabolisms will reset as we acclimatise to these new digital rhythms. Is this how ‘digital natives’ already experience it?

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