Some weekend reads for those in the world of digital, technology, organisational transformation and beyond.
It is rare that Benedict Evans comments on the world of corporate technology and transformation, but this piece on the decades of change within businesses and how the 3 Ds (Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Transformation) are creating a new landscape to unleash the potential of employees, data and to reinvent business models.
Perhaps the best high level way to talk about this [Digital Transformation] is just to say, as a gross generalisation, that in the 60s and 70s giant companies bought mainframes, and in the 80s and 90s the centre of gravity of enterprise IT moved from mainframes to client-server, Oracle, Windows and PCs, and now it’s moving again, to cloud and SaaS, and a bunch of other technologies that come with that.
These new architectures, technologies and operating models within organisation fundamentally shift the expectations of the customers and the employees (as outlined in one of my ‘stories’ to illustrate this shift in my previous role: “How can I track my pizza to my home, down to the second, on my mobile but you can not tell me when my car is ready for collection from the repairers?) into a ‘digital-first’ mindset.
These changes have been in the foothills of our world for a number of years, yet the past 18 months have dramatically accelerated these shift in expectations and habits;
“It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.”- How long does it take to form/change a habit?
So these pieces on the world of media and financial services outline the key areas which must be front and centre in the minds (and strategies/plans/visions) of executives, board directors and employees in these sectors.
So these pieces on the shifts within the world of media and financial services outline the key areas which must be front and centre in the minds (and strategies/plans/visions) of executives, board directors and employees in these sectors. But, not just those …these dynamics will impact all.
Within media, the legacy business models are no more and the transition continues towards atomised media, an audience of one, network dynamics to drive the flywheel of creators, orchestrators and consumers.
Media is blurring its shape. Lines between media types are disappearing, consumers are creators, and entertainment is daubing tech and retail all over itself. Content is ever present, consistent across platforms, and individually personalized. As our physical world blends with virtual worlds, entertainment realities are changing, too.
Whilst in the world of financial services, the shifts are truly seismic and fundamentally will change how consumers, investors and financial institutions will see ‘value’, ‘payments’, ‘money’ and ‘wealth’. Technology and software has eaten this world (when was the last time, in the last 18 months, you used cash?) and FinTech & DeFi will drive future behaviours more than we can probably imagine.
This stack (internet, cloud, mobile) has enabled us to do old school financial services in a digital way. While the first generation of fintech companies created billions of dollars of value, because of new enablers like Plaid, Cross River Bank, Finix and Wisetack, we’re now moving past that phase to one where fintech moves from being a business model unto itself, to being the fourth layer in the stack or the “fourth platform,” wherein financial functions like payments, lending and insurance join connectivity, intelligence and ubiquity as layers of the stack upon which new companies can be built.- Matt Harris, Bain & Company
Yet, these shifts in expectations and the capabilities which the 3Ds offer organisations who can ‘stay the course’ on the journey to becoming future-ready., require the whole of business being part ‘on the bus’ and aligned around a ‘north star’ or vision/purpose which establishes revised and reimagined values and behaviours, which in turn create the ‘culture’ of the organisation.
Having been on a number of these journeys during my career (as leader or team player) the ability to communicate consistently, with empathy and inclusion, is the hardest task of the lot. Sometimes leader ask the question: ‘why don’t they just get it?’, having tried a number of approaches, tactics and channels to communicate ‘change’, so this piece from HBR resonated with me.
Leadership teams often spend hours wordsmithing their business’ vision, mission, and strategy, only to hear employees complain, “We don’t have a north star.” Executives are often surprised by this feedback of a lack of an aspirational vision and immediately spend more time trying to craft the perfect statement.
As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said: “change is the only constant.”, so understanding the nuances of the ‘decades’ of change required on the 3Ds journey, through the changing expectations and onto how to make this ‘stick’ within your organisation, some interesting and thought-provoking reads this weekend.
Thank you for your time and attention, onwards & upwards