Here’s why your PR director should be on your digital transformation team.

Andrew Rieser
By Andrew Rieser | President and Co-Founder, Mountain Point
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9-minute video

You’ve done it. You’ve made the case, secured the resources, and rallied the troops. You’ve got finance, operations, IT, sales, marketing, and your CEO all geared up to modernize your back office. You’re ready to take your factory’s operations into the future.

But wait… it feels like something’s missing. Did you remember to include your public relations director?

If you haven’t added your PR leadership to your digital transformation team yet, you should. As with any major change, modernization efforts require thoughtful, consistent — and persistent — communication across your organization.

In this short video, we talk through practical comms tactics and key messaging considerations to support the success of your digital transformation initiative.  

This episode continues our series of discussions around the 10 Best Practices for Digital Transformation.

Have a question you’d like answered?

Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll talk through it on a future episode!


 

What's the ROI? Just six months after implementing their digital transformation efforts, luxury textile manufacturer Matouk saw a 233% return on their investments. 

Read the Matouk ROI report

 


Transcript: Going digital? Prioritize talent over tech.

Jessica:  Hi and thanks for joining us as we walk through our 10 best practices for managing a digital transformation project. I'm Jessica Vodden, a team member here at Mountain Point, and I'm joined by Andrew Rieser, our president and co-founder. Hey, Andrew.

Andrew:  Hi, Jess.

Jessica:  Hi. So, today we're on step nine, which is all around communication. And I think that one of the things that we've hit on across this series is how a digital transformation project is really just an executive level exercise in change management. So, communication obviously is a big part of that, but also communication can really aid you in empowering your team to embrace the new ideas and continue improving and continue refining and developing this process. So, tell us a little bit about what that looks like, what a successful communication plan looks like in a digital transformation project, the sort of cadences and the best practices, and how you go about implementing it.

Andrew:  Sure. So, I think, like anything, a digital transformation is only gonna be as successful as the team that rallies around it and has bought into the values and vision of what the company or organization is trying to accomplish. So, a lot of times we say that starts at the top, and for sure that definitely starts at the executive level of really creating that vision of the "why". So, why do we need to change as an organization? There's dynamics that are changing, there's markets that are shifting, but what do we need to do to be successful as our organization continues to grow and evolve. And being able to really articulate that and get the rest of the executive team and all the way down is super important. So we see these digital transformations that are successful, they usually have a very strong leader at the top that is able to articulate and set the vision and goals and objectives and gets the rest of the team to rally around that to provide results.

Jessica:  Right, so it's sort of that C-suite champion that we've talked about before. So, what kind of updates do people typically try to provide their team, and how do they establish sort of feedback loops as they work through these processes?

Andrew:  This has been a recent topic that I've been talking a lot about recently with peers and mentors. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all strategy. I think it's... No matter how much you think you are communicating, it's probably not enough. And so, as an example, a lot of organizations will have an all-hands, some sort of cadence throughout the year. And usually, coming out of that, it's pretty crystal clear in most folks minds about where the organization is going, where the SWOT analysis is of themselves and what the objectives are that they're trying to tackle. But then you quickly find that people get kind of stuck in the day-to-day grind of whatever it is they're working on and lose sight of the bigger picture. So, I think organizational leaders just need to always keep a pulse on what's going on and not be afraid to adjust or over-communicate when they feel like a traction isn't going the way that they want it to. And so, again, I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all strategy but you can never go wrong with over-communicating and trying different methods of communication to get everybody on the same page.

Jessica:  Yeah. I think one of the things that we've recommended too as we, 'cause you're right, there isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy, but I think one sort of common thread that I've noticed in our work with customers and internally as well is really communicating both the benefits and the challenges and actively engaging your team in celebrating and solving both. So, if you've put into place a new customer service system and you're seeing amazing results, frequently touting those results, showing the impact on the customer, telling real life stories about the outcomes associated with it, and celebrating the team members who helped make that happen, I think can go a long way toward kind of reminding people, like you said, even when they're caught up in the day to day, of why we're doing this and what the value is. And then I think conversely when there are problems, so, you know, for example, poor data entry, or somebody not following a new process, bringing that to the group's attention not from a finger-pointing standpoint but just from a, hey, we have this problem, where is it breaking down, these are the real life repercussions of not following the new process, and making sure people are aware. Because it may just feel like, when you're busy on a Friday afternoon and you're trying to get out the door, that not accurately entering your data or fully following the new process is that important, but then that can cause huge problems for everybody over the weekend or on Monday. And so, making sure people understand not just their piece of it but the entire pipeline I think it's really crucial.

Andrew:  Yeah, I definitely agree. I think that putting the spotlight on both sides is absolutely important. Celebrating the small wins but also acknowledging things that aren't working and coming up with a path forward for solving those issues. And so, we definitely see a lot of that and I think that successful organizations empower their team and kind of set up the bumper rails, if you will, that kind of align with the visions and values of where they're trying to go with this digital transformation. But empower the team to make mistakes along the way and to try different things and to fail fast, if you will, as they iterate through to see what works, because a lot of this is uncharted territory for some of these organizations and it's not as simple as a drill of going through your old as-is processes and your desired "to be" and figuring out the gap analysis. I can't tell you the number of times we've talked with executives recently where they don't even wanna think about the past. They wanna acknowledge it and know that here is how they previously did business processes and how the technology worked around that, but they think that their digital future is so drastically different that they're more energized and encouraged by the future of implementing these new processes that have in some cases never existed or they've existed in such a...

- or they're going to exist in such a drastic form from that they previously were that they don't know what the road map's gonna be and how it's gonna pan out. So, they just want everybody to recognize that and know that we're all in it together and that we're trying to evolve and be agile, but not to give up on it and not to try to bite off more than you can chew.

Jessica:  Yeah. And I like your point about failing early and often. Because so often in organizations we've all been taught from a young age, even when we're at school, failure is a bad thing. And I think the entire agile concept and also the concept of innovation is really built on trying things out, seeing what works and what doesn't and then improving, and so failure's a crucial part of that. And I think just making that very clear and being very transparent that mistakes are okay, failures are okay, it's okay to point out that something isn't working the way it should. That's really important as we work through these processes as well.

Andrew:  Absolutely. And then the last element I think that you alluded to is the data. So, previously we weren't privy to a lot of the real time interactions and responses and feedback that we have now accessible to us, and so if you think of it from a marketing standpoint and being able to do AB testing and then really kind of test on the fly and tailor your results based off of a feedback and the actions that your customers are taking with you, I think that also applies not only just in marketing but elsewhere as well. We have a plethora of data streams and data points that we're now able to capture and can make much better informed decisions than we were able to do in the past.

Jessica:
  Absolutely. Well, Andrew, thank you as always. Always enjoy these conversations. We have one more best practice to hit on and we'll do that in our next episode. We're gonna talk about continuous improvement. For those of you out there listening, if you have a question or an issue that you'd like to see us address, please let us know. We're happy to tackle it in a future episode. And thanks again and nice to talk to you.

Andrew:  Thank you, Jess.


 

What's the ROI? Just six months after implementing their digital transformation efforts, luxury textile manufacturer Matouk saw a 233% return on their investments. 

Read the Matouk ROI report

 


Topics: Big Data, Change Management, Digital Transformation, Q&A Friday, Industry 4.0, Manufacturing Cloud, Business Intelligence

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