Digital Evolution, Let's Get Started.

Many of our clients come to us with goals of transforming people, culture, and business into one that is more digitally-centric. Although it almost seems silly to use the word "digital" in the year 2016, the practice of "digital" remains a critical skillset and mindset development area.

Often the writing is on the wall: lost business, revenue and people. Additional signs of "it's time to invest in evolution" include an inability to retain top talent (because no one understands their skills or contribution), continuing to silo "experts" (because leaders still believe the experts will save them), and general dissatisfaction with ways of working (because teams are lost in the dysfunction of the organization).

Change is not easy. It's roll up your sleeves kind of work. It takes agreement, investment, and commitment. All of which are often overwhelming (and paralyzing) for leaders. In my experience, it takes one careful step at a time. Commitment to people is the first order of business (not process, structure, etc). If you can move people forward, even if it's just knowing a little bit more than they did last week, it will make all the difference.

Clearly, educating staff ongoing is a big investment. But what happens if you don't?  

Here are a few steps for getting started with evolution at your agency or brand:

•••

1. Know the people

Who are they and what do they need? What do they know and what do they need to know? Start there.

2. Ask experts to teach

All the investment you've made in specialists can really pay off. Recruit experts to teach a few classes a month, set up a system that rewards this contribution.

3. Slow and steady wins

Commit to annual programming. If you're investing in single workshops or attending random conferences to "learn" you are wasting your money. Get behind learning internally like you never have before, you will see immediate results.

4. Mix practical and not-so-practical

Try classes that are directly related to the everyday but also add topics that are surprising, lateral, and challenge conventional thinking and making.

5. Experiment more, talk less

Education is messy work. It's not perfect nor should it be. Ask employees to get their hands dirty and closer to technology than ever before, this approach will pay off.

•••

These few steps will get you started in 2016. Next year at this time you'll have momentum, commitment to learning and a group of employees who are "digital" but more importantly, curious.

Did you read these already?
Organizational Growth: Evolve or Be Left Behind

“75% of our revenue comes from stuff Don Draper would not recognize” - WPP CEO Martin Sorrell. Evolution is a natural part of all living things and organizations. Over time people, plants, technology, organizations, and societies evolve. We are always adapting to our surroundings. As a business, we are constantly adapting to the needs and wants of our consumers and clients. In the marketing and advertising world, this evolution has been expedited significantly by the increase in technological innovation over the past decade.

Read More...
Renewing Digital Capabilities: How Companies Can Spring to New Heights

Spring has finally sprung. It is time to put the snow shovels away, bust out the sunscreen and start enjoying baseball season. But, unlike many of the plants that start to bloom in April, growth and success in business are not perennial. Often, organizations must shift their practices and take intentional steps to keep up with their constantly evolving industry. But before going anywhere in business or in life, it is imperative to first understand where you are today.

Read More...
How to Survive (or Catch Up) after SXSW

Inspired by SXSW? So were we. Feeling behind because your co-workers went to SXSW but you did not? Some of us feel that way too! Either way, endless opportunities abound to learn from, and rub elbows with, experts.

Read More...
Dear SXSW: A Few Suggestions...

SXSW 2017 gave us a glimpse into the future of tech. Innovative minds from big businesses and small shops alike left us stunned with cutting edge advancements. If technological innovation in 2017 is anything like it was in 2016, we are in for significant disruptions to our daily lives and ways of working. We sat down with Allison Kent-Smith, smith & beta CEO, to discuss SXSW and the future digital landscape.

Read More...