Friday, 14 November 2014

Take control of your digital future (part 2)

In the final of a two part guest post (read part 1 here), Jan Zuchowski, a Digital Performance Specialist who has worked with commercial and not-for-profit organizations to improve and develop their strategy, provides practical steps for taking control of your digital future.

"Digital innovation is simply the process of pulling together the ideas and tools to create something new. For many publishers this can be a challenging prospect because their organisational culture (that has often been built up over many years) inhibits thinking that challenges conventional beliefs.

Image: Roman Okopny
Yet innovation cannot happen without stepping out of the well-worn grooves that have served the industry well in the past. It takes courage; it takes vision; and it takes a passion for what might be, for the unexplored, for what yet isn't but could be.

The biggest barrier is, of course, the fear of getting it wrong and making expensive mistakes. Happily, the real threat is not nearly as big as is often imagined because other sectors are facing the same challenges as publishers, and are tackling them in different ways, and so there are opportunities to learn. We can see what works in other contexts and then can explore how to push the boundaries and develop new technical insights in our own field.

Senior executives at Google, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg define technical insight as “a new way of applying technology or design that either drives down the cost or increases the functions and usability of the product by a significant factor. The result is something that is better than the competition in a fundamental way. The improvement is obvious; it doesn't take a lot of marketing for customers to figure out that this product is different from everything else.” (How Google Works, John Murray, 2014).

Here, then, are four questions you may like to discuss within your organisation to set the ball rolling.

  1. What more do we need to understand about how the market place is evolving in order to take our concepts of product to the next level?
  2. What are the ‘adjacent’ needs of our market - related needs that are not met by our current activities?
  3. How could we start making connections between our consumers’ adjacent needs, the new ways of thinking in other sectors, and our current resources?
  4. Who could we pull in to help us with our innovative thinking?

Image: Ags Andrew
And after you have taken time to explore these ideas, take action! Ask yourselves - What is the single highest impact next step we could take to accelerate our progress in digital innovation?

We live in incredibly exciting times. Engaging ideas are appearing, sometimes from the most unexpected quarters. New companies are springing up with disruptive ideas and making rapid and significant inroads into the market place.  Unexpected models for partnerships and collaborations are evolving to develop innovative product experiences for the customer. As singer, Bono says, “This is our moment. This is our time.” It’s time to capitalise on the new possibilities open to us!"

Jan is the facilitator for the Digital Strategy Think Tank, an ALPSP workshop produced in collaboration with Librios to be held in London on Tuesday 2 December 2014. Book your place now.

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