The Importance of Having a Purpose in Digital Transformation and Innovation

So many companies are investing in digital transformation and corporate innovation strategies to compete for the future.  They’re typically led by technology and aimed at growth areas such as customer experience (CX). In actuality, these efforts are most often not that innovative…they’re a bit more iterative than groundbreaking.  That’s ok, but these times necessitate a balance of innovation and iteration. Many organizations are simply investing in new technologies and expertise to simply modernize legacy models, processes and systems. However, to compete for the future, to earn market relevance, modernization is just not good enough. You have to give innovation a purpose. You have to give meaning to your work so that the organization can stand behind something that’s meaningful and believable. Technology isn’t the answer. It’s an essential enabler of a greater vision and mission. What’s your purpose? Credit: DrivingSales | DSES

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal analyst and
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The Human Dimension of Innovation and Digital Transformation

Any time I get to visit Madrid, Spain (España!), I take it. It’s where my mother was born and it’s where much of my family still reside. I used to visit every other year going back to my earliest of years. I miss it, I miss my family and I hope to visit again soon. During my last trip, I had the opportunity to partner with BBVA and Oracle to present to executives from Spanish companies on the state and future of digital transformation and innovation. I also was treated to a tour of BBVA’s open innovation center in the heart of Madrid. Following my presentation, I was asked to share my thoughts on the state and future of innovation and digital transformation. I added some spice for flavor to the discussion by also explaining why I believe digital transformation is a human story. I wanted to share the
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The Human Dimension of Innovation and Digital Transformation

Any time I get to visit Madrid, Spain (España!), I take it. It’s where my mother was born and it’s where much of my family still reside. I used to visit every other year going back to my earliest of years. I miss it, I miss my family and I hope to visit again soon. During my last trip, I had the opportunity to partner with BBVA and Oracle to present to executives from Spanish companies on the state and future of digital transformation and innovation. I also was treated to a tour of BBVA’s open innovation center in the heart of Madrid. Following my presentation, I was asked to share my thoughts on the state and future of innovation and digital transformation. I added some spice for flavor to the discussion by also explaining why I believe digital transformation is a human story. I wanted to share the
Continue reading "The Human Dimension of Innovation and Digital Transformation"

In Pursuit of Relevance

Welcome to irrelevance population: most of management by @gapingvoid and @briansolis What does it mean to be relevant today? We live and work in an era of digital Darwinism, where technology and society are evolving away from yesterday’s norms, mindsets, values, and behaviors.
Most companies want to be customer and employee centric. Most executives believe that their work matters to employees and customers. But the reality is that customers and employees are changing as times, trends and tastes evolve. They’re human after all. On the other hand, organizations and executives aren’t keeping up with evolution simply because corporate cultures are more rigid than they are agile. They’re more risk-averse than they are progressive. The truth is that companies struggle to adapt because most corporate cultures and operational models were designed in an era before the internet. They’re increasingly exposed to “out of touchness” and thus, progress closer and closer to
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The Importance of Experience Design and the Future of Brand

Customers today are accidental narcissists. Tomorrow is an entirely new game brands, CX strategists and marketers. Disruption is a gift either given to you or by you. Knowing this, we are still making mistakes in creating meanignful experiences to a new generation of connected, impatient and demanding customers. We get stuck in legacy thinking, playbooks and metrics rather than innovate and disrupt to fully capitalize on new digital opportunities. Following my presentation at Adobe Summit, I had the opportunity to join my dear friend Giselle Abramovich of CMO.com for an extensive conversation about the importance of experience design and the future of brand in a digital economy. Giselle has a way of bringing out the best in someone. In our discussion, I share my latest research, work and ideas about how every company should re-imagine brand for an era of digital Darwinism. The questions and answers cover a
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How to Transform Digital Customer Experiences for the Connected Customer

Digital transformation is only becoming more prominent in driving business modernization. Yet today, it is rarely designed, led and managed as one, sweeping, coordinated effort across the enterprise. Eventually companies get there as outlined in “The 6 Stages of Digital Transformation.” But, most of the time it starts disparately in pockets across the organization. Many business units learn and progress independently before regrouping with the rest of the organization to then move in unison and with purpose. This is why the topic, for now, is incredibly varied and segmented across every discipline. For example, each group is focused on the “digital transformation of…”
  • IT
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • HR
  • Recruiting
  • Law
  • Finance
  • Supply Chain
In my years of tracking the evolution of business, there’s usually a flashpoint that compels leadership to officially sanction digital transformation, unite efforts and organize cross-functional leadership teams. Depending on business priorities, that flashpoint is
Continue reading "How to Transform Digital Customer Experiences for the Connected Customer"

How to Transform Digital Customer Experiences for the Connected Customer

Digital transformation is only becoming more prominent in driving business modernization. Yet today, it is rarely designed, led and managed as one, sweeping, coordinated effort across the enterprise. Eventually companies get there as outlined in “The 6 Stages of Digital Transformation.” But, most of the time it starts disparately in pockets across the organization. Many business units learn and progress independently before regrouping with the rest of the organization to then move in unison and with purpose. This is why the topic, for now, is incredibly varied and segmented across every discipline. For example, each group is focused on the “digital transformation of…”
  • IT
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • HR
  • Recruiting
  • Law
  • Finance
  • Supply Chain
In my years of tracking the evolution of business, there’s usually a flashpoint that compels leadership to officially sanction digital transformation, unite efforts and organize cross-functional leadership teams. Depending on business priorities, that flashpoint is
Continue reading "How to Transform Digital Customer Experiences for the Connected Customer"

To innovate or advance digital transformation, look outside your industry

My good friend and journalist Dan Tynan wrote two exceptional pieces on digital transformation in Adweek, “5 Steps for Digitally Transforming Your Marketing to Be More Responsive to Customer Needs” and “Why Old-School Brands Like Gap Need to Learn New Tricks to Survive in the Digital Age.” If you’re not in marketing, please don’t stop reading yet! This is bigger than marketing. This is about organizational innovation and transformation. Dan and I spent time together talking through what digital transformation means and explored its promise for modernizing organizations at large. That discussion spilled over into his two recent Adweek articles. Although a portion of what I’ll share with you made the article, the rest is meant to help you in your efforts. I assembled some of the key points for you here in the hopes that it helps you.

Digital Transformation in an Era of Digital Darwinism

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The Next Round of Modern Commerce Disruption

The evolution of modern commerce is underway. Every day, we are introduced to new, niche players that introduce new personalized product and business models. At the same time, traditional retailers are learning how to innovate and also acquire innovative startups to introduce new capabilities, expertise and leadership into the fold. And of course, Amazon only continues to disrupt on all fronts. At the heart of this rapid evolution and revolution is emergent technology such as AI, machine learning, mobile, conversational commerce, et al. But technology isn’t in of itself the driver of modern commerce disruption. It is more and more, becoming a facilitator of modern customer engagement. Customers too are evolving and as a result, their behaviors, expectations, preferences, values, et al., are shifting. The other catalyst is human. Disruptors are increasingly placing connected consumers at the center of everything. And the key to doing so effectively is extreme
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Las seis etapas de la transformación digital

For all of my Spanish speaking friends, my Prophet colleague Joseph Gelman and I have published an in-depth article based on my research-based maturity framework, “The Six Stages of Digital Transformation.” I hope it helps you. Espero que te ayude.

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Designexplores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design. Invite him to speak at your event or bring him in to inspire and change executive mindsets. Connect with Brian! Twitter: @briansolis
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Digital Transformation is not a Cost-Center, It’s an Investment in Market Leadership

In many progressive cases, digital transformation prioritizes customer experience initiatives. Because it focuses (or should) on customer behavior, preferences and outcomes, digital transformation can, in its own way, making businesses more human. As such, digital transformation is not or should not be about digital. It’s greatest potential is achieved when technology enables human-centered experiences and the change that comes about inside and outside the organization as a result. Successful digital transformation is ongoing and continually seeks out how to use technology in ways that improve customer experiences and relationships. It also represents an effort that introduces new models for business and, equally, creates a way of staying in business as customers (and employees) continue to evolve. Created by Whisbi

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, 
Continue reading "Digital Transformation is not a Cost-Center, It’s an Investment in Market Leadership"

Exploring digital transformation and influence

I constantly face a challenge in that I spend so much time researching and writing that I barely have time to promote my research and writing. I often think, “what’s the point of doing all of this work if no one will see it!?” In a rare moment however, I was able to spend time with Onalytica to take about my areas of study, how I got here and who/what influences me. I hope it helps you…

HOW DID YOU GET TO BECOME AN EXPERT IN DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?

I’ve always been involved in technology; I live in Silicon Valley so it’s inevitable. But I grew up as a programmer and my first real job was as a database architect. I was also involved in the start-up community, I worked a lot with start-ups in Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and really started to become part of the innovation
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Adapt or die: How the travel industry can survive in the era of digital Darwinism

Why bridging the gap between current guest experience and their expectations holds the key to the travel industry’s success. We live in an era of digital Darwinism, where technology and society are evolving faster than most businesses can keep up. In every industry, customers are changing and as a result, disrupting markets and businesses in the process. They’re becoming more connected, informed, demanding, impatient, elusive and self-centered. As customer behaviours evolve, they disrupt markets and businesses that emphasise scaling and monetising business as usual. Even with investments in new technologies and talent, without understanding the human side of digital Darwinism, a gap between customer values and business values takes shape. The moment that gap grows into a chasm is when disruption becomes inevitable. Now more than ever, businesses must adopt a mantra of adapt or die or risk disruption or worse, obsolescence. The travel industry is not exempt. Guests too
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The Biggest Mistakes Companies Make in Digital Transformation and Innovation

Jeff Ashcroft is a dear friend of mine. He’s the host of the popular #MMChat on Twitter every week where he hosts some of the most progressive conversational streams on business modernization and innovation.

Recently, he invited me to share my the story behind my latest research, “The Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto: How the People Behind Digital Transformation Lead Change From Within.” In a flurry of 140-280 character questions and answers, I set out to help “change agents” understand not only are they not alone but they’re also the champions of tomorrow’s leadership. You can follow the conversation as a Twitter Moment complete with imagery and GIFs and commentary from all participants. I’ve also included the direct Q&A below. I hope this helps you… Q1: You’ve been a leading voice in digital transformation and corporate innovation for years now. What have you learned in your experience to date?
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Designing for the Human Side of Digital Transformation

On this final episode of Digital Outliers Season 1, my dear friend Stowe Boyd joins to discuss the “humanities of it all.” Stowe is futurist and editor-in-chief at Work Futures. He believes (and my research shows) that companies are often missing the mark on digital transformation by thinking about it from an industrial approach instead of a humanities-based approach. In a wide-ranging discussion, Boyd shares his thoughts on the inherent bias in social media and how we have to do more than being aware to counteract it. He also shares how orgs can capitalize on the groundswell created by change agents, no matter where they sit in the organization, and move from an industrialization mindset into a future of work mindset. Please listen and share! Season 1 of Digital Outliers is available here.

About Brian

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group
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Great Customer Experiences an Upgrade to Executive and Management Mindsets

It’s a new year and not necessarily another step forward. This isn’t the first time I’ve used this profound picture by Banksy as inspired by Meek. It always inspires me to spread my wings as a change agent. In my research, I find time and time again that digital transformation and corporate innovation is spurred by customer experience. The reality is that customers, as a result of their relationship with technology and the resulting digital transformation of their personal and professional networks, are evolving faster than business mindsets, products, services, policies, et al. Conventional thinking, traditional operational models and industry standards are not at all always something to be proud of. We need to rethink about how we operate, how we we measure success and why we do what we do. After all, much of what we do today, was  designed 50 to 60 years ago…before the internet, mobile devices,
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The Nexus of Digital, IT and Science Fiction in the Future of Work

I have to tell you, I am absolutely loving the Digital Outliers podcast series and I hope you are too. In this episode, I get to talk with Brenda Cooper who among many things, is the CIO for the city of Kirkland, Washington. She is also a futurist and the author of nine science fiction and fantasy books. Her most recent novels are POST (Espec Books, 2016) and Spear of Light (Pyr, 2016).  Her other works include Edge of Dark (Pyr, 2015), The Creative Fire(Pyr, 2012), and The Diamond Deep (Pyr, 2013). In many of my talks, I share why now is the time for the “I” in CIO to evolve from that of information to that of “innovation.” Brenda is the ideal subject for this discussion. The way she thinks and applies her work across all fronts is fascinating. On the show, Brenda shares the many
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Future digital banking trends that apply to almost any consumer-facing business

Each year, my friend Jim Marous assembles some of the industry’s most interesting perspectives on retail banking trends and predictions for the year ahead. I was invited back to share my thoughts (thank you Jim!) Although, looking back, I still stand by my ideas from the previous two years. I wanted to share the highlights from the report and also my contributions to this year’s list of trends/predictions. I also included ideas from previous years to help financial executives see the bigger picture.

Top 10 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions for 2018

Top Strategic Retail Banking Priorities for 2018

Customer experience is driving digital transformation. But, retail banking isn’t alone in this. All customer experiences in every industry need an upgrade and modernization to compete for “Generation-C.
“All banks must prioritize UX, design thinking and experience architecture to compete for the future right now. This is a
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Digital Transformation Through a Global Lens

Part 3 in a media tour series for my 2016 keynote at Digital Business World Congress (DES) in Madrid, Spain. This interview is with i9 Magazine, “O mundo digital visto por peritos internacionais.”  

Digital Transformation Through a Global Lens

Digital revolution is happening. What are the buzzwords we must follow? Big Data, machine learning, smart cities, IOT, 4th industrial revolution,….? The digital revolution is has been happening for decades and it will only continue to change how we work, learn, communicate and connect. The biggest trends that I’m following include an incredible array of disruptive technologies such as AR/VR, AI/maching learning, autonomous vehicles, IoT, 3D printing, wearables, et al. In your opinion, people are becoming more digital followers or revolutioners? Digital consumers are revolutionaries by default. I refer to this phenomenon as digital Darwinism. As technology evolves, so does its impact on society. Simply by how people adopt
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Defying Demographics: Generation-C, Today’s Hyperconnected Consumer ‘Generation’

Not that long ago, I spent time with Kevin Delaney and the digital transformation team at Cisco’s Connected Futures to explore the evolving consumer landscape. My research and ongoing work with Google continues to show how and why people are changing and how businesses must transform through digital and also human approaches. Technology isn’t the answer, it’s a means to solve problems and create opportunities tied to how people are changing. As part of a deeper conversation and project with the Connected Futures team, I wanted to humanize change by introducing “Generation-C,” a connected psychographic group that looks beyond traditional demographic lenses. I hope this summary of our discussion helps you….

Meet Generation-C: A connected generation of people not classified by age, income or geography

This mobile-savvy customers set the standard for the buying experience.
By understanding the collective quirks of boomers, Xers, Y’s, and Z’s, brands hope to strike
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