The Second Step: Grow Business Impact With New Ways of Working
With consumers’ accelerated adoption of digital behaviors, the inevitable digital transformation of most businesses within every industry is here. Under increased economic pressure, business leaders across the board are trying to get ahead of the transformation imperative that digitization requires.
Through our deep experience across many types of organizations, we’ve seen leaders’ transformation challenges boil down to four key goals:
- Create digital mindsets across the company. This includes understanding digital trends, growing digital mastery, and building a product-driven organization.
- Upgrade capabilities to reflect cutting-edge technical skills across marketing, technology, and data functions.
- Accelerate technical hiring by upskilling and reskilling current employees and new hires.
- Understand what good looks like — a skill necessary in achieving every goal.
This series, GA Jobs To Be Done, unpacks each of these four goals, providing actionable recommendations that organizations can put into practice to help set their businesses on the path to sustainable digitization and success.
Last week, we explored the importance of mindset resetting to embrace digital philosophies, understand digital trends, and gain the literacy to discuss them across the organization. Now you’re ready to upgrade your business capabilities to reach its full potential.
So, let’s get down to your business.
Once transformation initiatives are underway, leaders want to make more business impact through new ways of working, but a stunning 53% of organizations can’t identify what skills they need.1 Regardless of industry, we’ve found that the majority of companies have three transformation goals in common:
- Harness data as a strategic asset by enabling employees to adopt data capabilities and mindsets that help them become fluent with data.
- Transition from legacy technology systems by reskilling employees into high-impact technology roles on teams that properly use new tools and technologies.
- Market for today’s digital customer through evolved marketing skills and practices that speak to the behaviors and expectations of the digital-first customer.
Let’s go through the below steps required to reach each of the above three goals.
Adopt a data mindset to grow your business capabilities.
Data is power. That’s why 97% of executives are investing in big data and AI initiatives.2 As you progress into becoming a digital organization, properly-leveraged data will make you more efficient, more focused on planning, and more effective against your priorities.
The first step? Invest in data literacy across your organization to help employees understand how to use and drive results with data. In a digital world, fluency is the key to improving with time. Every team — regardless of an advanced analytics skill set — will need basic literacy to be part of the data-driven culture you are building. As you scale your data capability, your employees will have the opportunity to work with an incredible volume of data to help make better and faster decisions across functions.
Next, incorporate advanced skills to solve increasingly complex data problems. Once you build systems to collect, refine, organize, and analyze your data, those employees who work closest to the data will need advanced skills. Companies often invest in upskilling employees with data modeling and visualization, machine learning, and Python programming to enable them to be higher-leveraged with data.
Finally, leaders set the data vision. To effectively manage data- or AI-driven teams, leaders must lay the groundwork for a successful data transformation by mapping the ideal flow of data throughout the organization and prioritizing data investment opportunities to make that flow a reality.
Working with data can take a long time, but like many digital technologies, it’s about increasing your rate of learning and improving as you go. Setting clear expectations of where you are and where you’re going is critical to growing your team in the right ways and modernizing your company so that your talent will want to stay and grow.
Reskill employees into high-impact technology roles.
As you modernize your tech stack and build digital fluency, you’ll want to scale your engineering team to maintain your new and improved business operations. Note: Good engineering talent is hard to come by, but luckily you have options beyond hiring-in talent, which we’ll dive deep into in our next post!
The second thing you’ll need to do is build broad technical fluency across your organization. Your engineers will be powerhouses of systems thinking and advanced skills. Still, their work will not be fully effective unless your entire organization understands the benefit of new technology and how it factors into their ways of working and ultimate company goals.
From there, you’ll be able to update the skills of existing engineers with modern engineering practices. Tech is a field that is constantly evolving. Today, engineers must understand modern frameworks and methods to support cloud migration and other enterprise technology projects. However, in this fast-moving industry, keeping up with innovation means making learning a key priority of your technology team. Offering ongoing upskilling helps you invest in the culture of learning, so your employees are able to operate at today’s level and continue to evolve with the industry, learn, grow, and become valuable assets to your company.
Create modern marketing for the modern consumer.
With consumer behaviors continuously changing alongside technology, your business faces both unprecedented interaction access and higher-than-ever customer expectations. (Last year, global e-commerce grew by more than 27%, accelerating digital sales to a level not expected until 2022). Many companies struggle with this transition because marketing skills tend to be highly siloed, as marketing was not previously considered a digital role. Today, pushing transformation forward means evolving your marketing skills and practices for digital fluency across the team.
Start by growing customer insight functions to build a foundation for marketing strategy based on scalable market research, producing tailored personas and detailed customer journey insights to inform your strategies. Use this consumer-centric design and user research to help you up-level creative development. Modern marketing’s fast pace and segmented audiences make it more important to ensure alignment within your teams and agencies. This means enabling multiple people to create at once with tools like writing briefs, branding guidelines, and content strategies to ensure a steady drumbeat of quality, on-brand output that furthers business goals.
With this content in progress, focus on building out your channels and execution functions. Social media, search engine management and optimization (SEM, SEO), earned and owned media, and e-commerce all require specific skill sets– including the measurement and analytics to know you’re hitting your KPIs. Engineering’s data-driven culture has migrated into digital marketing, which now has processes for testing and optimization at its core.
Finally, get comfortable using marketing technology, like customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and adtech. These tools help you make the most of digital channels, enabling you to track the details of a high volume of interactions, build personalized messaging, and target the right audiences in the right channels.
Always strive for improvement.
Once you’ve established a digital mindset, there are a wealth of skills you can invest in to make your business’s digital transformation effective. With broad functional literacy across teams, you can build skills from the ground up, creating data scientists, engineers, and marketers with modern skills, coordination across teams, and a culture of learning that helps your organization grow and lead.
An ever-evolving, skilled digital culture is key to building teams with the best talent — stay tuned for more content from this series.
If you’re ready to invest in your talent, we can help today. Explore our catalog here to see the digital literacy and upskilling courses that we provide — from IC to strategic leader, across digital fluency, marketing, data, and technology.
Want to get specific about how we could help your organization? Get in touch.