innovate workshop think plan act

 

[Day One]

Refresh the Core Competencies and the Value Proposition

  • distinguish your brand from the competition
  • consider messaging that resonates in the digital ecosystem

Blend your Mission and Vision into a story

  • share socially, on your website, in a video and organically

Assess new and future Macro Conditions – PESTEL

  • Political
  • Economical
  • Social
  • Technological
  • Environmental
  • Legal

Evaluate Supply Chain

  • sourcing goods and services
  • suppliers and procurement
  • production and processes
  • sales and fulfillment
  • inventory management
  • customer satisfaction

Redesign Production for Agility, Ideation and Innovation

  • introduce new ways of thinking and leading for stakeholders
  • recognize that changing mindsets and processes takes time
  • set goals with incremental advancements

Continue reading “Innovate, Evolve & Grow Workshop – 3 Day Action Plan”

cloud-services-in-digital-network

 

A significant element of digital transformation is shifting to serverless cloud computing to leverage services, storage, and processing capabilities. 

Businesses are assessing their technology and recognizing the many advantages of cloud solutions, such as:

  • Cost efficiencies
  • Structural flexibility
  • Cohesiveness of event-driven performance
  • Ease of operational management
  • Real-time data processing
  • Integrated systems and applications
  • Compatibility with different languages
  • Automated scaling
  • Quicker deployment
  • Reliable support for databases, dev/ops, and AI programs

By moving to the cloud, many complexities of a back-end system are removed. Another benefit is eliminating the need to estimate usage. Often, projecting demand can cause unnecessary expenses when reserves and resources are idle.

Continue reading “The Merits and Momentum of Cloud Services”

spool-of-purple-thread-needle-thimble

 

My love for digital commerce is much like a clothing designer’s passion for trendy wearables.

Outfitting a company for digital growth requires several garments such as data, business intelligence, automation, agile project execution, iterative campaigns, multi-device performance, interactive media and omnichannel experiences.

Like fashion itself, one’s digital ‘style’ says everything. Engagement, activation and triggered events occur when your presentation is undeniably attractive.

An effective digital strategy requires stitching together meaningful touch points, including social channels, editorial sources, search engines, web platforms, communication avenues, micro moments, and brand experiences.

Much like apparel that has a myriad of patterns, countless brands and endless fads, a target audience is wide-ranging with unique needs, interests, requisites and restrictions. Motivation to make a purchase is best understood by defining the persona of the buyer and tailoring your message to activate their reasoning and response.

In digital marketing, being vogue means knowing if the spectators have an appeal to bohemian, chic, grunge, casual, vintage, or couture. A sensory connection is critical, as well as having the brand’s value proposition sewn into the fabric. The aim is to be digitally distinctive.

The real catalyst for any consumer is believing your brand is the right fit. Generating enthusiasm and instigating a sale, service or subscription requires skillfully shaping an influential and value-driven experience.

To be optimally executed, digital initiatives rely on a foundation of tools, techniques and technologies. The past practice of threading together promotions, taglines and incentives won’t cut it.

Bottom-line, use this period of digital transformation to assess your IT wardrobe. Empty the closet and start re-assembling the technology stack piece-by-piece, maintaining a clear goal of raising efficiency, expanding capability, strengthening security, and reducing costs.

Be ambitious and a little audacious. Every Monday is the digital start of fashion week!

digital landscape

 

The buzz is everywhere. Broadly described as “digital transformation”, companies of all sizes are contending with the need to shift their model and way of doing business. 

The concept itself is dynamic, with complex features such as cognitive technologies, distributive data, cloud services, rapid iterations & experiments, workflow logic, business intelligence and a stack of software solutions.

For many, this pivot appears daunting, lengthy, expensive and uncertain.

My suggestion is to take a micro-to-macro approach. This begins with incremental steps towards an agile culture.  Once agility is achieved, there will be far greater confidence and competency to facilitate the transformative process.

Continue reading “10 Steps to Accelerate Agility”

steel cogs team goals plan develop

 

Often departments are structured as silos with very little common ground or joint efforts.  Digital transformation requires intersecting disciplines and removing traditional barriers. The ethos of a company depends upon shared ownership of functional, operational, strategic and innovative capacities.

IT is a company’s heartbeat, overseeing technology and securing scalable internal systems.

Marketing is its persona and customer conduit, designing a value-driven brand experience.

Making headway in your digital presence, engagement and earnings relies on an alignment and synergy between these sources.

At the core of the two branches is data.

  • IT = how data is assembled, structured, stored, secured and dispersed
  • Marketing = how data is utilized, analyzed, modeled, made actionable and measured

Strengthen your Infrastructure and Marketing by developing blended strategies, projects and metrics. And optimize your investment by no longer operating them as cost-centers, but instead as engines for revenue augmentation.

Continue reading “Two Drivers of Innovative Growth: IT and Marketing”

panoramic-clouds-and-lake

 

Cloud services and computing are rapidly becoming a major part of how organizations operate, manage data, and perform digital transactions.  IaaS (Infrastructure as a Software) provides broad opportunities for small companies and mid-size enterprises to take advantage of capabilities that would normally be unavailable or too costly within an integrated backend system.

The benefit of moving to a cloud includes a significant reduction in costs by utilizing shared resources, greater efficiencies with on-demand usage, and a wider pool of services for auto-scaling.

The greatest challenge is understanding the range of cloud services in order to select the best framework for both your current state and future state.

Key considerations are:

  • What is the business case for modifying the current infrastructure by partially or entirely moving to the cloud?
  • What are the critical requirements that must be met based on the company’s business model, technology stack, data composition, system complexity, budget, resources, etc.?

To fully define needs and essential services, start with an audit and evaluation of the following:

  • Storage and Usage Patterns
  • Interface
  • Applications and Computing Needs
  • Databases
  • Operations
  • Systems and Processors
  • CPU, Physical RAM and Virtual Memory
  • Network and APIs
  • Users and Accesses
  • Governance and Security

Continue reading “Head in the Clouds? Insights & Tips for Cloud Services.”

coding-computer-data-depth-of-field

 

The engineering of a company’s digital commerce is more important than ever before.  Making prudent and progressive infrastructure decisions, while also strategically being lean and competitive, is a new kind of approach which doesn’t occur by happenstance. 

It requires widening your time-honored, long-established lens and committing to an unwavering technology stewardship, along with the following:

  • significant planning
  • objectivity and exploration
  • outcome modeling
  • high-level disciplines and standards
  • continually maturing team insights and ingenuity

Some simple recommendations are to avoid hype, do not be swayed by the claims from technology firms, reps or self-described pros, evaluate a diverse number of methods and pathways, and amplify value and efficiency at every stage.

Why ‘value’ and ‘efficiency’? Because those are the foundations of lean principles.  By creating capabilities-driven production with waste-reducing workflows, the aim is to reach more effective and profitable performance.

Continue reading “Business Use of Lean and New Technologies”

close-up-photo-of-gaming-mouse

 

‘Design Thinking’ is a business methodology – and ultimately an attitude – being used by companies that have embraced digital transformation, re-orienting their strategy towards innovation and experimentation. To be on the front end of this, there are essential changes to how an organization reasons and rationalizes its way of doing business.

Fundamental to Design Thinking and Digital Transformation

  • Be open to new information and uncommon ideas
  • Embrace uncertainties as part of exploring and exploiting opportunities
  • Experiment: hypothesize and employ rapid testing and iterations for validation
  • Understand that trial n’ error actions are constructive
  • Make it a priority to be data-informed for forecasting, identifying patterns and better pathways
  • Socially listen to gauge sentiments and to capture real-time interests, motives and preferences of customers
  • Perform journey mapping across the customer’s ecosystem (not your own)
  • Be channel agnostic
  • Require that customers will benefit from the outcome of every decision

Shifting the collective mindset of a company in order to gain from design thinking can be fraught with obstacles and resistance.  You must be patient and persistent, providing ample time to stir curiosity, foster esteem, inspire cultural growth, and build momentum among team members.

Continue reading “Innovate Your Customer Experience through Digital Transformation”