The key to organisational engagement

Laurence, CEO

How to secure buy-in to your digital transformation

When undergoing digital transformation, it’s important for the entire organisation to be involved. From board level to frontline staff, having everyone behind the change is vital to delivering an extraordinary Brand Experience (BX).

Our recent Brand Experience Seminar brought together some of the industry’s top thought leaders, all united by a passion to share best practice in the world of BX. Guest speakers including Elaine Roberts (CMO, Lloyd’s Register), Stephanie Verschoor (Global Head of Brand Experience & Design, Reckitt Benckiser), Matt Wilkinson (Head of Digital Platforms, The Gym Group) and our very own CEO, Laurence Parkes came together to discuss the importance of brand experience, and the challenge of securing organisational buy-in when it comes to any digital transformation strategy.

Without buy-in and engagement from the whole organisation, even the most innovative of brand experience strategies are doomed to fail. Organisational engagement is fundamental to achieving a coherent, meaningful digital transformation. It’s vital for employees to understand how they fit into the new operating models that embracing real digital transformation demands, and for them to be equipped to deal with fundamental changes to how teams work and how they must think. If they’re not informed, involved and engaged, it just won’t work.

So how do you sell your ambitious digital transformation vision into an organisation in a way that gives it the best chance to succeed? These are the top tips from the seminar:

  1. Engage the entire organisation

    You need to engage all levels of the organisation, from board level downwards. Any transformation programme is likely to impact all areas of the business, so it is imperative everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. It will likely require a change in mindset for many employees, but that can be tackled. After all, change can often bring resistance. 

  2. Show don’t tell

    It’s best not to present the vision/strategy to the business as a fait accompli but rather the first step in the journey. This will ensure that employees and senior execs feel as though they’re part of the change and that their opinions and insights will be valued and listened to.

  3. Sell your vision

    You should also consider how to effectively communicate your vision. Most importantly, step away from the PowerPoint – nobody ever felt inspired by an 80-slide deck. Instead, consider media that champions the role of storytelling. Create long print scrolls, books or short films to engage and connect everyone to a single vision. Really show them what it will look and feel like.

  4. Use data to prove business outcomes

    Be prepared for dissenters and be armed with data to prove the impact to the bottom line of any digital transformation strategy. The potential benefits of any new digital strategy are enormous, but it’s safer to be conservative with estimates and KPIs - they will still be impressive. Organisations should also exercise some healthy caution and be mindful of previous investments in technology that only delivered marginal improvements.

  5. Blended KPIs

    When it comes to KPIs, you have another opportunity to get the whole organisation involved. You should break down silos by showing how your activities will impact the KPIs of other teams. This gives an increased sense of shared goals, a push to achieve something as a team, increasing your overall success.

  6. Early wins

    Early wins that prove the value of changing ways of working will buy you essential time to complete your longer term transformation ambitions. For example, when driving digital transformation at The AA, we created a hero consumer app that required multiple siloes to work together, proved the business impact of coming together to deliver extraordinary Brand Experience.

  7. Recruit apostles

Finally, it’s always worth recruiting champions or advocates of any new strategy, particularly if they are well respected within the organisation. They can act as an agent and role model for employees to follow, encouraging them to embrace any new direction taken by the business.

From these tips, it’s clear the underlying goal is to have the entire organisation on board with your digital transformation strategy. By doing so, they’ll embrace and drive the change, leading to an increasingly exceptional brand experience. How will you ensure all your staff are on the same page?