Hi Haydn, tell us about yourself and your background (and how you got into the digital transformation space)?
I’ve worked in product development and the think tank industry for thirty years and have lived and worked through many major transformations going back to the growth of global supply chains, through the introduction of the world wide web, global mobile connectivity, and now, of course agile, AI and IoT. I’ve been involved in product design or analysis in all these areas, or alternatively, I’ve undertaken significant research around them. Because I have skills in disruptive product design and I have written
about the issues that arise around disruption, it was natural for companies to consult me on their transformation plans. That’s why I set up Flow Academy
in 2017 with Fin Goulding, himself a practitioner in major transformations in finance and insurance.
Online commerce was booming in 2020; how did it affect brands’ digital adoption strategy? – What should be the main focus for brands this year?
Well, it booked for some, and it bombed for others. But I think going forward, the companies that get distributed working right will win the prizes. Winners in 2020 had no need to innovate. They just had to scale. But that will change, and adapting innovation mechanisms to remote work will be a key factor in success going forward.
Haydn’s checklist for digital transformation
In your POV – What is the ultimate checklist for a good digital transformation strategy?
- Know your context; don’t let consultants tell you what it is.
- Avoid adopting a model or formula; work with your context.
- Make sure your people are pivotal to the design.
Design a lighthouse project that can help you learn what really needs to change and what skills you need to succeed
4. How much has the CEO’s role changed in the social distancing era – what role digital transformation has in this crisis?
The role of all leaders should have changed, but often it has not. Leaders suffer a lot of anxiety because there is nobody there to lead, so they take on management and reporting roles instead. They need to learn how to trust people, how to grow trust, and how to nurture innovation. Digital transformation will be key in 2021 and onwards, but it needs this culture shift in leadership to make it effective.
In your POV – What is the ultimate checklist for a good customer experience strategy?
- Know your market segments.
- Design innovations for each segment.
- Build feedback loops into every part of the operation (including how to change your processes)
What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2020?
How to breathe. I used the time to learn how to be a breath coach; how to relax. And how to take the long view of COVID.2020 was the year of webinars and online events; what was your favorite one?
The Transformation Sprint. Run by my colleague Fin Goulding and me. It takes companies on a short journey through successful transformation design. I recommend it.
It looks like working from home will stay with us for the foreseeable future; how should Marketing Executives gear up to the changing times?
Yes, of course. It is very hard for people who have to sell to do that without meeting people F2F. So not just marketing but sales and marketing. It means more emphasis on highly relevant content and helping customers achieve success. In the reduced amount of social interaction in front of us, exceptional content is going to make a difference to customer engagement. We see some of that happening, ie marketers who push the product less, and instead genuinely try to inform the customer.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
Advocacy leads to customers setting up their own businesses in and around the brand, as they do around Amazon. Having a vibrant ecosystem is a great moat.