As businesses do we focus enough on sustainability?
Based on what's posted on LinkedIn I would say probably not. Content on business growth and personal growth (and oddly Yoga) are what seemingly attract business owners and managers .
In fact this post on stopping plastic pollution which appeared in my feed stood out so much it got me writing this blog.
There is more evidence out this week that New Zealand businesses aren't doing a good enough job in being seen to be active in regards to sustainability - despite it being a major issue for consumers.
In fact the Colmar Brunton survey Better Futures shows the issue of plastic pollution is an even bigger worry than the cost of living for consumers and more of them are taking action.
In fact 4 out of 10 New Zealanders are highly committed to living a sustainable lifestyle and they want to hear more from businesses.
7 out of 10 Kiwis are unable to name a brand that is a leader in sustainability."
Despite the fact that sustainable choices and actions are firmly on the agenda of New Zealanders, the survey shows that 7 out of 10 Kiwis are unable to name a brand that is a leader in sustainability.
For businesses it's more than just about marketing and brand - it also makes good business sense to be sustainable.
McKinsey show that sustainable businesses actually perform better than their counterparts and that developing a corporate culture of sustainability may be a source of competitive advantage for a company in the long run.
High-sustainability companies perform better with higher return on assets and equity."
They show that high-sustainability companies did better with respect to return on assets (34 per-cent) and return on equity (16 percent).
Obviously many businesses have sustainability objectives in their strategies and nearly 500 are members of the Sustainable Business Network which is the largest and longest-standing organisation dedicated to sustainable business in New Zealand.
Done correctly, sustainability and the digital transformation of businesses should go hand-in-hand.
Atamai's digital benchmarking uses a holistic model to take a whole-of-business approach to digital transformation.
Our approach is based on tried and true principles to drive sustainable outcomes.
Businesses just cannot afford to not be part of this conversation.
More companies than ever are looking to transform their business with digital - and maybe 2019 will be the year that more of them than ever succeed.
Why do I believe this?
Because CEOs are now realising that digital transformation requires a holistic approach and that culture and minsdet change is a key factor for success.
A 2018 Gartner survey reinforces this with an even greater recognition of this from CEOs whose companies have a digital initiative underway.
The survey revealed that CEOs now understand that making their culture more proactive, collaborative, innovative, empowered and customer-centric is what will drive success in digital.
Digital projects do not create a digital business - a much more holistic approach is needed."
The reality up to now has been that businesses get stuck running digital projects in an effort to digitally transform.
Digital projects do not create a digital business - a much more holistic approach is needed.
Ask anyone who has delivered good digital outcomes - either for an existing business or creating a new one - what was the key ingredient for success?
The answer is unlikely to be technology or even funding - overwhelmingly it will be a strong team operating in an empowering culture. That's certainly been my experience.
Another factor that indicates a C-suite mindset change around digital transformation is occurring, is more digitally mature organizations now definitively having the CEO leading it (41 percent, up from 22 percent) versus the CIO (now just 16 percent, down from 23 percent), according to the latest data from the MIT Sloan Management Review.
This is a dramatic turnaround from years past and shows that digital transformation now being one of the top priorities of the business as a whole.
It is hugely encouraging that CEOs are now stepping up and leading digital transformation.
They can provide the vision and purpose, the environment to experiment and the mandate for their organisations to think differently and get collaboration across boundaries.
Too many Kiwi SMEs are struggling to keep up with the pace of technological change – even as their businesses are disrupted by it."
For CEOs of SME businesses this leadership role is even more critical as with a smaller organisation getting digital wrong can be terminal.
And too many Kiwi SMEs are struggling to keep up with the pace of technological change – even as their businesses are disrupted by it.
According to the latest MYOB Future of Business report 22 per cent of SMEs said technology would not have an impact on their industry over the next few years.
Small businesses employ 30 percent of New Zealand’s working population and produce around 27 percent of New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product.
It's critical that these businesses are leveraging digital well to drive the digital economy for Aotearoa NZ.
So evidence of a shift in mindset to a more holistic approach to digital transformation is good news for business and good news for the digital economy as we move into a new year.
Understanding the narrative you operate in is critical for any organisation, knowing how to influence it through storytelling to create impactful change is transformational.
As part of Experience Week Peter Fletcher-Dobson from Atamai Digital and Philippe Coullomb from Wheretofromhere ran a one-day workshop on how organisations can drive systemic change through storytelling.
Participants from more than 10 public and private organisations including Ministry of Education, Ministry for Primary Industries, Change for Good NZ, Pure Advantage, Horizon State and MtVic Hub were introduced to powerful models to both understand and change dominant narratives through storytelling to create impactful change.
Workshop participants explored dominant narratives around several societal issues: teachers’ pay, the value for money of public sector, climate change, or the closing of public services in rural areas.
A key focus of the Narrative and Storytelling workshop is to understand the difference between stories, used to convey messages with more impact, and narratives that connect stories and create new meaning.
A. Rahman Satti , one of our participants, reflected that “We do a lot of work on stories, but I never thought about narratives. It’s very powerful”.
We do a lot of work on stories, but I never thought about narratives. It’s very powerful”.
For organisations looking to transform their business understanding the overarching narrative and stories around their Brand or product is critical.
Global companies such as Nike or Patagonia are masters at redefining narratives to differentiate their brands but also to create powerful societal change.
Whether you are a large or small organisation or an individual - the workshop gives you the tools to begin redefining a narrative and to create the powerful stories needed to drive a new narrative.
I feel more confident to use storytelling in my life. The link between narrative and stories is very relevant to my products.
Participants enjoyed being challenged and gaining the power to be able to deconstruct narratives to drive businesses or cause-focused organisations and groups.
Reach out to know more about how you can leverage storytelling to enhance and accelerate transformation.
Exponential technology change is increasing rate that digital disruption impacts on business models and organisations.
Yet 80% of digital change programmes fail.
Find out how to avoid joining the club of failed digital transformations.
For many businesses just knowing where you are on the digital journey and what the next steps are is key.
We use a holistic benchmark to measure your business's digital capability and clearly show the pathway to your aspirational state.
Using the benchmarking we create a roadmap to link the current with future aspiration to deliver both digital enablers and digital Key Performance Indicators using design and delivery principles to de-risk your transformation.
A digital transformation is a marathon - but it's a marathon completed in many sprints.
But by taking a holistic view and using an iterative approach delivering on near-term quick wins organisations can start delivering customer - and internal - value faster, with lower risks.
The high percentage of digital transformation failures suggests that embarking on a digital transformation of an organisation is an almost impossible quest.
Why do organisations that can afford to hire the best talent, buy platinum platforms and who are run by high-achieving leaders, fail at moving into the digital age?
Surely with the internet now reaching its fourth decade, organisations should be more than up to the task of being digital heroes?
Everyone loves a good hero-story - and for me digitally transforming is a hero-quest of the 21st Century for many organisations.
It can seem like an impossible journey to a magical location and like legendary quests such as The Odyssey, or my favourite, Lord of the Rings.
The quest always involves a heroic group who are given superpowers along the way and only reach their magical destination when they are truly transformed.
There are five key reasons why companies struggle to transform:
As with any great story, there's a challenge for the hero - in the transformation story it’s usually the challenge of creating amazing experiences through great digital products.
The story must always be focused on the heroic transformation, in this case the organisation truly delivering on an aspirational brand purpose that takes its customers and business on an incredible journey to a better place.
As with any quest, the hero is equipped with super-powers along the way. These attributes manifest as:
Transformation is not a linear journey
The reason for the high number of digital transformation failures, is that many organisations see their digital transformation story as a linear, mostly technology-driven story that delivers a grand ending.
But, like any tragedy, if a hero tries to complete their quest with only one-or-two super-powers and ignores the others, then the story doesn't end well.
And in digital the journey is not linear. It’s all about the power of these five factors happening at the same time to deliver a transformational brand experience that will always be evolving.
And this is demonstrated through having amazing digital products that create fans, rather than customers and which deliver on a brand promise that adds more value than it takes.
It sounds magical - but it's not. Like all great storytellers know - there's a clear and measurable formula to success.
And while true digital transformation is a never-ending story every journey has a start point.
Exponential technology change is increasing the rate that digital disruption is impacting on business models and organisations.
The impact on businesses that are not born-digital can be highly problematic, as I have written about before.
For medium to smaller organisations the challenge can appear overwhelming - where on earth do you start and how do you avoid joining the club of failed digital transformations?
A useful way to clear away some of the noise is to begin by defining how businesses respond to digital - and what that means for their culture & people, operating model and infrastructure strategies.
In this model there are three strategic transformation choices to respond to digital: