As companies continue to grapple with unavoidable digital transformation and the concept of becoming more digital and (I would argue, by definition) more customer-focused, I tend to recommend three fundamental principles that should be established in the company:

  1. the boss needs to walk the talk
  2. nominate a senior level digital evangelist who is credible in front of the business managers (i.e. has managed a business unit)
  3. create a roadmap such that, rather than have 1 person be 100% the digital dude (or dudette), 100% of people in the company become 10% digital

digital transformation, the myndset digital marketing and brand strategy

The boss who walks the talk

I have written frequently about the need for the executives to improve their digital IQ… A boss who walks the talk means someone who, at a minimum, has become more savvy about the myriad apps that can aid one’s professional and personal life on the mobile, on the tablet.  Without being digital, it is truly impossible for a senior executive to be understand the new form of communication and the subtleties of earned media.  If the boss doesn’t incarnate the change he/she is looking to see happen inside the organization, it is hard to take the digital transformation — even inscribed in an annual report — seriously.  As a baby step, and there should be no surprise, here: I suggest the boss get started by setting up a Twitter account.  {Click to Tweet}  A perfect opportunity for some reverse-mentoring, recruit a Tweeto within the organization to help get the top executives started, creating an appropriate profile/bio, setting up relevant lists, etc.

A credible evangelist & coach

Identifying (and recruiting) the Chief Digital Coach is no easy task.  There is the profile, the attitude, the competency, the fit with the CEO and within the company culture, the fit with the geeks…  The reporting structure, the mandate (roles and responsibilities) and support staff are of strategic consideration.  The Chief Digital Coach must be able to inspire two populations: the operational business managers as well as the more digitally savvy people (within and outside the company).  Typically, this means the person has had experience managing an operational business unit, thereby understanding intimately the P&L, customer relationship, distributor negotiation, etc.   And, it goes without saying, the Chief Digital Coach must be actively on/in the more important social networks.  I would also argue that their presence should demonstrate their convictions.  Having hierarchically important individuals leading by example is a key facet of any digital transformation.

Everyone should be (at least) 10% digital

Digital has a way of touching virtually every aspect of the company.  In any event, even if the impact is not direct, there are indirect implications for everyone.  Digital is not just a set of “virtual” or internet-based tools, it’s a mindset.  A digital transformation is as much a change in mindset as it is a new way of doing marketing, CRM, sales, etc…. {Click to Tweet}

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