Lauren: Hi, I am Lauren Stiebing and welcome to this episode of the Career Success Podcast. Today, we will speak with Craig Binkley, the founder and CEO of the Thinkbink strategy group. This podcast will be a follow up discussion from a white paper Craig wrote for us on Digital Transformation and Impact on Value Chains and Routes to Market. In case we have listeners who weren’t able to read the article yet, why don’t you briefly summarize the main points for us?
Craig: Sure Lauren. Well, the point of the idea is to basically say we’re looking at how digital impacts our consumer lives in our real world, but not necessarily what it is in our business world.
And so, the things that are the key factors really to driving that in our business world is firstly defining and redefining what digital means in your organization. So, not having it just be about digital marketing or the technology systems and solutions that the IT department is coming up with; that’s one of the major things you have to do. The second thing is really putting the customer at the centre of the full business strategy which a lot of companies talk about but then, really reimagining how you can best serve that customer along the full value chain of your business with the new capabilities that digital provides, digital in a broad sense as we talked about.
Then the third thing is really get excited about all the possibilities of new data and the insights that can be created from that; the new information you can get, the capabilities to analyse that data and what that can mean for your knowledge base and for how you interact with your customers. And in the last and probably the most important that ties into the first one is driving organizational change and how you approach both internal and external collaboration, because you really need abroad ecosystem of partnerships along the value chain.
You can’t simply come up with the things you need for digital transformation just by looking inside your own four walls.
Lauren: And just… I have a few follow-up questions from my network. So, a couple of individuals from my network that were able to read through the article have sent me some questions and one of the questions is around the healthcare industry, specifically how you see the impact of digital fitting into that and what that mean exactly for the industry.
Craig: I mean healthcare… healthcare is actually one of the more exciting industries where where digital is really going to have an impact. Well, here we’re not talking about just making easier to get from homes to the hotel or you know, having the toys delivered to a home.
Now, because there’s no toysRus store. This is really about fundamentally changing human lives and health and then you know, I’ve seen for example companies and doctors that specialize in rare diseases and clinical trials, what’s happening with digital is now finding those patients and recruiting them through the database collection that they have now, that you can capture and then digital outreach, they have to be able to find these people. So, number one thing about this rare disease is actually finding the people. The other thing is the ability patients have because now you can connect remotely, so it makes it easier to collect data on an extended longitudinal study and then you can collect a broader range of data. I work with this human project in New York which is actually embarking on like the largest study ever that looks as many factors as possible on human Lyme diseases in New York so that we can work on things like Alzheimer’s diseases that are, and try to find causes and correlations around us. And a big part of that capability is because of the connected internet of things in their homes; so, we can see what’s happening in their home and then also the wearable’s that allows data collections throughout their movement. So, without digital and types of advancements you couldn’t collect that data and then, you’ve got situations where AI and IBM’s Watson talks a lot about this. The analytical capabilities make it easier for doctors to access global studies and global reports and treatments to analyse what works best in certain patient situations. So, we could never manage all of that data without the capabilities of digital and AI part of it.
And then there’s… the other part of Health care where you you’re already seeing the impact of digital on patients abilities to engage with providers and insurers with the online portal, apps and things like that. So, those will continue to evolve because one of the major benefits of digitization for consumers is this concept of mass personalization. So, now you’ll be able to engage and customize your own experiences with your healthcare providers, with your portals etc. And then you know, future imagine, sort of a digital check-in, instead of walking in and signing your name on a little piece of paper and reading those you know, magazines you know, from some days gone by in the waiting room. So, it’s really making things easier at that level and then some of the exciting stuff is even bigger than that is looking at the telemedicine and mobility because that can change your whole model of accessibility; again, the connection points for medical treatment. So, that’s only enabled when you have sort of mass connectivity that we’re getting on and then, the secure cloud that you can tap into. So, healthcare specifically, because HIPPA is still towards digitization, right?
And then you’ve got block chain technology which will be a major breakthrough in data security, which is so key in healthcare. So, those are just a few of the big things I see in healthcare; both sort of the day to day patient interaction with insurers and health care providers, that then the broader huge impact that’s going to be able to do on data security of personable and the ability to really work on on life-altering humanity offering diseases.
Lauren: And another individual in my network says from my experience, a lot in regards to digital transformation does not start with understanding new customer behaviours and managing customer relationships with the help of big data; of course, that’s of the utmost importance but it will only happen if the organization is ready to embrace and drive towards digitalization. So, how would you set the scene for people to do that exactly?
Craig: Yeah. Well, that so… that ties back a little bit of you know, we focus here a little more on sort of routes to market in the connection and content and commerce to broader the broader scene in digital and like any other changes in an organization, you really need a couple of things. So, the first thing is the organization has to have a point on the horizon that establishes some level agreement on the convictions about the future.
You know, we talked about convictions and mandates and indicated actions. So, you know that more consumers will be using e-commerce to buy goods in an X category or to connect with doctors that we talked about in healthcare or in their banking activity. So, if an organization can set forward that… then socialize at a macro level because if it’s left just to a digital team organizationally, then the rest of the organization is not aligned on why the digital team is doing something towards the future.
So, they’d appear to be sort of out on the island. So, once you’ve got that point at an organization can agree to and socialize, then the other thing is to get from wins and proofs of advancement, right? So, a lot of companies spend time in digital building out these long and analysing you knows digital transformation roadmaps.
And they really never get into immediate action, they never show true progress… a great you know, on the way to the perfect bank robbery, you have to hit a few gas stations for beer money and that’s sort of what happens in these things, right? So, the truth is digital transformation and capabilities are changing so fast that you have to set out towards that point on the horizon that you’ve got some convictions around as a company and then you’regoing to have to have a lot of flexibility and an adaptation as things develop. So, you want to be agile and move forward without assuming that there’s some rigid roadmap. And one of the things about getting people excited about digital which is this question is that kind of thinking is actually Optima to legacy IT business. So, if digital is kind of caught in an IT world, then you need some of the more agile functions in the organization that are thinking more about progress and sales and marketing and consumers and share and commerce and… And financial rewards like CFO’s; you need to have them step up and be more owners and drivers of speed against those convictions along with the IT departments. So, it’s bringing those different capabilities, sort of an alignment towards the future and then a series of acts where you’re you know looking at organization, not to let along road stand in the way of more immediate progress and then when you spin, people start saying okay, this digital thing is working because all your … once you agree on the convictions, it’s just a matter of time. We’re not arguing about whether people are going to be using digital and mobile and commerce. We’re… we know that convictions out there on the horizon. Then a question is how fast can we move and then you start tackling all the issues like data security, the change in your legacy systems. You know from AS 400 into something that can do this or whether you’re going to move to a public cloud or some hybrid between public and private cloud which one you’re going to use. So, you start getting into an absolutely knew challenge.
Lauren: And what factors do you think motivate and enable people to think and act digital?
Craig: You know, what… so, I see the whole world sort of through a lens of marketing as a business person. So, you… you got to find the right target for your product or your service your idea. So in this case, you got to bring people and motivating value proposition. So, who are the people that are thinking and acting digital? How’s this going to add value to their lives, their jobs, their careers? And then, connect with them in the way that makes the most sense. So, if you want to motivate people to think and act digital then connect with them in a way that looks digital.
So, if you’re going to have a conversation about pitching digital or some capability, then don’t do it on PowerPoint. You know, with it… with a line connected, you stream it, make it content alive in digital. When I was running North Star research, we used to start meetings with… with our holding company which is a bunch of advertising agencies. We would start with video because we didn’t want people to think about a research company as just numbers and Excel charts. We wanted to think about the impact on our work that Volvo had; what they put on their website.
We want to show the impact. And so, find and target the right people that are supporters and lock them down. Don’t spend all your time trying to convince the other people, right? So, people are hard opposition to… to digitization you’ve got to build momentum in your organization. So, like any sort of political movements find the hard support of your ideas and the soft support and get them hard support and engage with them in a compelling way. And if the organization back to the other point, has some level of conviction about the future, then you can… the point we made in the white paper about bringing in people’s personal life to the conversation because if you hold up these examples you know, people respond a lot in business to analogues; you know, get out of your category, look at another category and take learning from that category and apply it because people respond to other categories as humans and as consumers. A lot of times they respond to their own business through the lens of that business they’ve built up typically through to a legacy in that industry. And so, if you bring their personal life in and say, look how digital has fundamentally transformed your lives, it can be a great tool in making your lives better; then you use that to challenge of how radically that life could change and imagine what the next decade will bring, given what the last decade to come. So, that brings that sense of pace we were talking about. You say look how fast your life has changed in so many ways. Our business should think about changing that dramatically because if we have some point on the horizon and we’re all in the arguing about time, we could say look what’s happened in the past two years, look what’s happened in the past five years, let’s look two years and five years out. We can no longer wait; so, we have to get that motivation and that call to action and many times bringing your personal life into business will create them.
Lauren: Well Craig, I really appreciate you taking the time to write this white paper for us and also to have to follow up podcast about it.
Craig: Sure now. I’m glad to do it. It’s an exciting theme. It’s exciting thing for all your network of people. I mean digital is at the forefront of like I say, their personal lives, also every one of our business lives, every one of our business functions; it’s a broad thing that’s impacting everything. So, it’s important for everybody to stay up to speed.
Lauren: Sure. As well I hope all of our listeners have enjoyed this episode and will tune in for the next career success podcast.