One of the biggest challenges which business leaders face in these times of uncertainty and worry about the coming years (including of course Brexit and the chances of another recession, but also the increasing threat of cyber-crime), is that many do not yet have the understanding, skills and knowledge to inform big strategic decisions which will be necessary in order to ‘weather the storms’. With this, there is an urgent need for all business leaders to reflect on their own level of skill and knowledge when it comes to digital technologies.
For example, do you know what may be holding your business back from progress in its use of digital e.g. legacy hardware, software and systems? How well do you know your competitors and their use of digital to improve services, customer experiences and communications – is there something you should be learning from them? And how well do you know what might be possible in the future by embracing digital technologies to gain competitive advantage, particularly those which give your customers something they can’t or won’t go elsewhere (in the virtual world) to purchase and experience.
In a previous blog I wrote about the Pandora’s Box effect that we are already witnessing in respect of digital inclusion, digital skills and the challenge which leaders face if they have not developed their Digital Leadership and mindset – you can read the blog post here.
The impact of growing customer expectations of all businesses and organisations (no matter how small) are already evident to us today and will grow over the years ahead. Every small business will need to step-up to the challenge of competing with corporate, global businesses in attracting and keeping customers. It will no longer be the case that our competitors are those within a close geographic reach, or with a specific sector or product offer, the business world of the future will see more-and-more large, multi-national businesses offering a catalogue of products and services of hugely diverse natures – think of Amazon the book store, which has become the online supermarket and now the biggest cloud service provider. Diversification is the name of the game for the big players who know how to harness digital technologies to their advantage.
So, if you are a business in the world of manufacturing or regularly using equipment services for your clients – what is your organisation doing about the advent of 3D printing. The use of this technology for prototyping and proof-of-concept is already well documented – so shouldn’t you be doing this in your R&D process already? The evolution of support and hubs around this technology is rapidly evolving and today’s news shows just how lucrative this can be for those businesses embracing it soon.
In your digital marketing plans, what have you developed to address the rise in ‘live’ video ads published on your Facebook page? This further development of the ability to broadcast key content at specific and even live events looks set to come into place very swiftly now that Facebook has launched its first trials of this new type of advertising.
If you want the back-story on this one – it was only in April of this year that Facebook started its live streaming functionality.
And these two examples are just today’s developments. So who in your business is scanning the radar to see what’s coming up and how you can take this on-board. Leaders in businesses need to adopt a hungry and highly motivated attitude towards digital technologies. It’s the one thing we can all do to make our business more robust and future-ready. Our digital mindsets will be vital.
For details on our new Digital Leadership programme, please read our recently published White Paper which you can access here or to find out more about this programme visit www.cosmic.org.uk/services/consultancy/leaders.