By now, it is easy to assume we have all heard the Jeff Bezos “Day 1” philosophy, (original Day 1 letter linked for reference), that continues to drive the Amazon.com mission to this day. The philosophy centers on the fact that you should always be innovating, reinvent, remain agile, never settle, etc., in business (or life).
Well, I am living a Day 1 philosophy as of late! I started my career while still in college as a web developer and, after a 20+ year career in EdTech, I have made the move back to technology, specifically, Process and Platform Automation. The decision wasn’t an easy one. I’ve disrupted everything that was comfortable and that I’ve been successful with for so long. My family has put up with my, dare I say it, mid(career)life crisis. But they have supported the transformation decision to take a quick mental holiday, check a few items off the personal honey-do list at home, and now I’m back at it!
Any transformation is difficult, requires buy-in, and can lead to uncertainty and, hopefully, success. I’ve been reading and discussing transformations, specifically digital transformations, for several years. The discussions were usually focused around training and development, which lives near the end of successful transformations. I started to explore how companies came to decide on how they would undertake the bold initiatives. As to be expected, buy-in starts at the top. Once leadership is onboard, empowerment of the workforce is next. Key roles are established and reinforce the need and want for a better way of doing things. Communication protocol is set and the tools that are required are identified.
At this point, this is where it gets interesting. Almost always, the tools are identified as a weakness to success. Be it legacy systems, business processes, manual manipulation of data, the list goes on and on. Companies not willing to invest the time and capital to update these processes and workflows will not be successful in their transformation, and many do stop at this point. What seems like daily announcements of legacy brands disappearing, by not remaining competitive and changing their models to reflect the times, is the very example of these failures to transform.
Collaborations and automation not only make work lives easier, but more productive and profitable. Unlocking the potential and power of your data is still a very manual task at many companies. ERPs live on one end of the spectrum, walled-off from the outside world with historical data, disconnected from the front-end sales and marketing teams working their prospecting/growth in their CRMs and marketing databases. Even the front-line teams tend to have disconnect in the data they track and report to each other. The adage has always been you are only as good as the data you put in when it comes to working in CRMs. One key success factor in a digital transformation is the ability to be agile, and having accurate, up-to-date information automatically syncing between internal systems and teams, removing the need to rekey data between departments, not only leads to successful collaborations between teams, but greater success and cost savings.
If you are planning your “Day 1” transformation, I challenge you to be bold, make the decision as a team to think big, outline the strategy for an agile approach, adjusting as needed, but thinking for the future. Are you ready to discuss strategies for a successful digital transformation through business process automation? If so, I am here to help!