Digital transformation is a rabbit hole of a topic.  Change for one organization doesn’t look the same as it does for another – there are too many variables that factor into what comes next.  That said, three priorities apply to each of us as we build for the future:

income icon  Understand Your Strategic Priorities

Don’t invest a dime in a tool, conference or consultant touting ‘transformation’ until you tether your efforts to a clearly defined business outcome.  You’ll be happier with the results, save money and reduce frustration for your staff.  Build a roadmap that consistently prioritizes your greater business objectives, so you aren’t distracted by shiny objects that solve small problems but do little to actually move your business forward.

warning icon  Address Your Data

You may not want to spend money on infrastructure as part of your transformation, but to harness the power of data, and monetize it, you must.  Onboard a CDP, establish a data governance protocol, structure your unstructured data and work through entity resolution.  In the end you’ll come to know that Bob, Robert, Bobby,, and are all just Bob. You’ll have a much richer understanding of Bob’s behavior, likes, dislikes and value as a customer. You can also stop sending him four catalogs, three emails, two direct mail pieces and obnoxious levels of video & display every time you launch an ad campaign.  The bonus?  When Bob, a San Diego resident, asks you to delete his data, you can comply quickly, with confidence, and avoid a fine from the California Attorney General.

myspace icon  Prioritize People Alongside Stack and Process

Change is hard for everyone and dramatic change can leave your staff feeling anxious, unappreciated and defensive.  Before you dive headfirst into transformation, ensure you have an empathetic but firm organizational change management team in place. Be clear with employees about the opportunities ahead and how their skills can and will contribute to the future state. Know upfront that there will be people who will not change. They’ll do their best to sabotage your efforts. To work through it, listen to your team.  Acknowledge their feedback, give everyone an opportunity, but be consistent in your commitment to optimizing the business.  Remember that the easiest way to lose your best employees is to do nothing about your worst ones. And we need those unicorns now more than ever.


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