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DX2018 – 3 Things We Learned

DX2018 – 3 things we learned

On Tuesday, Brighter Days headed to DX2018 in Auckland. Here are 3 things we learned:

1/ Put your customers first

Technology enables organisations to understand, predict and deliver on their customer’s needs better than ever before.

If customers aren’t truly at the centre of your organisational strategy by now, you ’re heading for trouble. It’s important for everyone within your organisation to understand this.

Being customer focused means:

  • a shift from transactional to relationship thinking (lifetime customer value).
  • harnessing data to deliver on latent (rather than existing) customer need.

2/ Disruption comes from leadership

Secondly, we noticed that the most successful examples of digital transformation on Tuesday were driven by new Managing Directors or CEOs (Disney, Mercury, Southern Cross). That’s our experience too.

It seems that the mandate for change must come from the top. Clarity of vision and purpose is critical.

This insight makes it even more disappointing to have seen only a handful of senior leaders on Tuesday. In fact, 61% of our DX2018 survey respondents indicated that buy-in at a Board and/or Senior Leadership team level is holding them back from achieving their digital aspirations.

Bringing senior leaders on board

Bernard Seeto, Head of Digital Strategy with Southern Cross suggested the following (we’ve paraphrased here) to help bring Senior Leadership on the journey:

  • Clearly, demonstrate to your senior leaders that your digital proposal aligns their strategy;
  • Approach things with a positive mindset (‘What can we learn from the past to deliver into the future?’);
  • Gain clear agreement on expectations with senior leaders;
  • Aggressively listen; look for and pre-empt the fears and concerns of leadership;
  • Narrow the uncertainty gap;
  • Make sure that everyone feels they have ‘skin in the game’.

3/ Keep it real

Finally, while automated vehicles, blockchain and virtual reality are well and good for large businesses with big budgets, most New Zealand businesses are small. We suggest a more realistic approach. In truth, we’ve delighted some of our customers by simply digitising their paper trails!

Gunjan Bhow, from The Walt Disney Company, summed things up on Tuesday when he said that people don’t wake up one day and want to use blockchain or any other type of technology. They want to be entertained (Disney) or to receive their product quickly (Amazon).

So, start by improving your customer journey and getting to know your customers. If Phase One for you, means digitising forms and building a CRM tool, so be it. Get points 1 and 2 above sorted and the insights, and digital opportunities will follow.

The results are in!

We asked DX2018 attendees:

  • ‘Who’s leading customer-focused change’?
  • ‘What’s stopping you from digital transformation’?

They said:

  • Senior Leadership (46%) is driving customer-focused change.
  • 50% are impeded by a lack of resource and/or knowledge constraints (46%).
  • 36% are frustrated by siloed departments.
  • 32% are hitting a wall at Board-level.
  • When you combine lack of Board-level and Senior leadership buy-in, 61% of respondents believe that senior leadership is holding their organisation back.

Watch this space.

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing insights, examples and practical solutions to these common issues and more.


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