In my blog CX Transformation, from caterpillar to butterfly I referred to the fact that over a decade has passed since technological innovation penetrated our behaviour and way of working in a fast pace, driving our today’s experience economy (as described by Pine & Gilmore in 2000). Being a consumer in private life we have all come to a level at which we expect a certain ease of use enabled by digital innovation during our daily activities, ranging from shopping clothes to booking an exclusive journey abroad. In business we now have gained the insight that true customer experience transformation is no state of superior business which is to be realised overnight. Here you might find yourself, trying to figure out “where you are at your journey towards excellent customer experience”, wondering what your next step should be.
As the saying goes ‘time flies’ and 2019 is about to enter its last quarter, please allow yourself a moment of reflection and retrospection. What initiatives have you initiated so far? Are these progressing as planned? Or, if already implemented, are the results as successful as expected beforehand? Are your employees embracing the changes and the technology you provide them with?
Most likely, you have been encountering unforeseen challenges, facing unexpected resistance and exposed to unknown gaps in your daily operations. As such, this makes sense, as the digital transformation of customer experience truly is a complex and demanding process, putting your adaptiveness and perseverance to the test.
Forrester was so right in its reflection on digital transformation 2018. The essence of this reflection (as stated in the Predictions 2019 Report) came down to fact that in 2018 CX performance of many companies was flat and more than 50% digital transformation efforts stalled. In response to external pressures and the desire to create new revenue streams, the 2017 dreams of these companies were big. In 2018 they met the reality that such large-scale programs are hard and costly. Moreover, these challenge the way many leaders run their business and secure the quarterly shareholder value.
To be successful in digital transformation a holistic & outside-in approach is required. Not only by enabling people with adequate processes and supporting these with adaptive systems, but also by embedding the transformation through cultural change. This statement might easily tend to become a plea is for a comprehensive approach, guided by a detailed road map and underpinned by a thorough change program. Sure, this is the most desirable way, but also the most expensive one.
Most probably your situation urges you to be pragmatic in the way you drive your company’s transformation. You even might find yourself confronted with the decision where to put your focus i.e. investment, heading towards the future.
Unfortunately, quite often the decision is being made to focus on 2 areas out of the elementary 3: people, process and technology.
Allow me to share with you some potential consequences when doing so, as these might cause you more harm than good:
- Exclusion of the process focus leads you to automated chaos & confusion.
- Exclusion of technology, as we all might have experienced in former decades, will result in operational inefficiency & frustration.
- Exclude people and you will harvest alienation and underutilized technology.
In time we have seen quite a broad range of variations of the last-mentioned exclusion. On the one end we have found leadership teams used to command and dictate their employees, being surprised about the resistance they met. On the other we find the often practiced “global roll out” of a system and new ways of working, designed within and for one specific region. Primarily this approach is to be thought of as cost-efficient. Though in the end the adoption ratio lacks, leaving you with a R.O.I. not realized. Both approaches are in need of acknowledgment of the fact that people must go through all stages of the change process themselves.
Last June, during the Dutch CIO & CDO Insights Event it once again became clear that there is no single recipe for digital transformation; one doesn’t become digitally adept instantly. Acknowledgement of the human factor being key to transformation as well as of the necessity of an integral approach were the two prior preliminaries the participants unanimously agreed upon. (If you feel like reading more about this event, take a look at IT Executive NL Update). So, 2019 appears to evolve towards the year of pragmatism, tackling profound challenges creating a durable foundation for true transformation, as Forrester already predicted.
At Acorel we profoundly believe that “the magic happens at the heart of the trinity People, Process & Technology”. Our iterative approach is interwoven with change management, starting with the business objectives you are to drive. As it becomes clear how one can benefit from the interventions at a personal level and a daily base, it becomes easier to involve your front line managers and employees into the transformation. It’s this approach which enables us to provide you with adequate support adjusted to every stage of your transformational journey.
Would you like to learn how? You are most welcome to find out at Acorel Transformation Services. Feel free to run a maturity scan to gain insight in where you are and benefit from the ‘next step tips’ offered to you, based on the outcomes of your scan.