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 is 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.

Where does your company stand? Where does the industry stand? Where would you like your organization to be?

Digital innovations are changing basically every industry at a shocking pace. According to smith & beta’s 2016 State of Talent Report greater than 43% of agency employees feel they are not prepared for the future work of their industry. Although startling, this statistic is easily explained by the cyclical nature of common organizational flaws.

Advertising agencies are constantly trying to maximize their billable hours. As a result, employees and organizations are often too busy to seek out opportunities to improve their skills. But this push for short term monetary gains has significant long term consequences. The capabilities - and subsequently the products - of an organization will inevitably fall behind as the expectations of clients continue to pile up. Understandably, it is increasingly difficult to take a step back assess the need for training opportunities. But by not assessing capabilities, organizations are allowing their skill deficits to expand.

It is imperative that agencies and organizations regularly take a step back to ask - “where is our company now? Where is it going? How do we compare to industry standards?”  

Asking reflective questions such as these is the way to plant the seed of renewal for a company.

To set proper goals for the modernization of digital skills, organizations must first set understanding the trajectory of the industry. For example, according to smith & beta mobile is the future. Understanding trends, such as the growing importance of mobile, allows industry professionals to more accurately address organization needs by addressing further questions such as: Are we a part of the industry majority that is lacking in mobile? Are our employees well versed on Mobile to meet the needs of clients today, or in the future?

To enact an appropriate plan, leadership teams must first understanding all relevant shortcomings.  A company that finds they are lacking in mobile skills, or any other area, can devise a plan or curriculum to help grow and renew their mobile knowledge and ultimately their success.  

Renewal, both organic and commercial, are not quick processes. Let’s face it, we have all tried to grow a plant and watched it wither. In order to safeguard against a misguided strategy, all organizational shortcomings must be carefully diagnosed. Approaches such as surveying employees and conducting case studies of previous work, shed significant light on areas for improvement. In a March, 2017 article Business Insider stressed “Digital advertising is growing. Everything else is flat.”

this poses a question; after a company has done research and hypothesized that they need to renew their employee education efforts, what comes next?

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