Embracing ‘The Power of How’ Will Give Leaders an Edge
There is a catch 22 when it comes to business software.
While digital transformation is vital to success, buying more software isn’t necessarily the answer to our business problems.
We keep purchasing new systems, new platforms, new software… all with the promise of hitting productivity out of the park. And yet, as we embrace 2018, we are rehashing the same digital transformation gripes of years past.
Why We Need to Focus on The How
“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.”
The need to digitize is disrupting how businesses operate. To do nothing is not an option. Leadership must implement new tech today to remain relevant tomorrow.
To ask, “Why should my business invest in new enterprise software?” is missing the point. Asking “What” is a similarly flawed response. Your choice of system, although important, is less critical than what happens next. Ultimately both questions focus on theory rather than value creation.
The differentiator when it comes to facilitating digital is: embracing the power of how. Asking, “How do I use digital tools to drive my bottom line?”
When we talk about digital transformations, we have to think about more than just exchanging paper records for digital ones, or implementing digital tools. It involves a paradigm shift in work culture.
“How?” is the singular most important question executives should be asking. More specifically: “How do I align my digital assets with my business needs?“
Zoom in on the Human
Most companies are under-utilizing their digital assets because they take the wrong approach. We need to look past the technical features of software, and recognize the bigger picture: an opportunity for a new way of thinking, working and behaving.
Part of the challenge is that we are operating in an era of a multi-generational workforce layered by the notion of the overwhelmed employee. The traditional one-size fits all model hasn’t and will not work, moving forward.
The reality is, people are the biggest asset to any organization but remain the most complex cog in the machinery of business. So, given that fact, it makes sense that maximizing the potential of your technology will hinge on your people.
The focus needs to shift to finding a way of building a strong and lasting relationship between our employees and their software from day one. To start, address these four critical moments in the employee’s digital experience:
Dissecting the Digital Conundrum: The 4 Steps of How
- System onboarding: How do we accelerate time to competency?
- Contextual Support: How can we shift from learning the process to executing it?
- Updates and Releases: How do we keep pace with the speed of innovation?
- Retraining: How do we effectively combat the forgetting curve?
And Finally, Embrace Data and Analytics
The 4 steps of how are where businesses should focus their energy initially. But in order to truly maximize technology investments, organizations must continue to challenge their status quo. The only way to do this is with insights.
Don’t confuse data with insights. I once got into trouble for saying “data for the sake of data is like the blind leading the blind.”
In today’s data-centric world, the winners will understand behavioral patterns ahead of time and create personal, actionable experiences that drive a better outcome. Just like digital transformation, this is a two-part process; understanding the implications and doing something about it. Simply looking at the numbers will not crown any achievements.
Despite the sea of data points being collected in the digital workplace, defining the metrics for meaningful insights on employee productivity is still a challenge. This is where the power of how comes in.
Ask, “how can a deep dive into analytics help improve company-wide effectiveness?” Shift to a communication-based model where information is analyzed and applied within the framework of the business problem.
If we use CRM as an example, we can aggregate data to show what a process might look like if we restructure its design, either digitally or physically. Likewise, data can show us target areas where usage is causing friction, wasting time or slowing productivity. Instead of just handing employees new tools, CIOs and business leaders can use data to further empower their employees.
The power of how unwraps the mysteries of enterprise software today. In fact, it goes beyond understanding single application stacks and end-2-end-user experiences. It speaks to the ability to create true corporate differentiation as organizations battle it out for success.