Managing Up Talking to leaders about digital @lwelchman
The world has changed because of the World Wide Web but my CEO doesnt get it.
Our digital presence is the most important thing and we look like crap…
We could get digital right if only the CIO would pay attention to the I part of her job.
We could get digital right if theyd put a Chief Digital Officer in the executive suite.
Reality check: Many organizations have been managing websites for almost 20 years. Many Webmasters are now Web Managers, Directors of Digital or Vice Presidents of Interactive. So, who are you talking about when you say that leadership doesnt get it?
What I hear from executives They want 1.2 million for a redesign project but I dont understand what well get for that investment.
You cant really find anything on the site. Its a mess.
Half the time I have no idea what theyre talking about. Whats card sorting?
Lets stop talking about how much leaders dont know about digital. What do digital leaders know about their executives?
Leaders everywhere. They speak in business haiku. Give them your metrics. The short-hand of leaders
Have a data-driven business story to tell. One that has a happy ending.
So, youve got some data and a good business story and youre ready to talk to your leader. Do you know what kind of leader you are talking to?
Digital Conservatives are slower to change existing business processes and products from their traditional channel to a digital one. Might not view digital as a disruption or a business changer for your market but as another channel through which to publish information and do basic transactions. Delegate digital strategy to more junior resources. Might feel threatened by digital. Solely use traditional business metrics and tactics to evaluate and drive their business– they are old school.
Digital Progressives utilize digital capabilities to invent new ways to do business and work out front setting norms for others in their market space. View the Internet and Web as business disruptions and are eager to organize the business around the new capabilities of digital channels. Define digital strategy for the organization and sometimes meddle in digital tactics. Sometimes indiscriminately adopt new technologies without any real business purpose. Try to leverage big data to better understand the behaviors and needs of their customer base and to shape and drive the operations of the business.
Being a digital conservative or progressive isnt a matter of right and wrong.
Digital Conservative + 2013 + Publishing Industry = Probable FAIL Digital Progressive + 1994 + Publishing Industry = ? Digital Progressive + 2013 + Publishing Industry = Do they have a good product? Digital Conservative + 1994 + Publishing Industry = ? It depends…
Using data and results to drive the conversation works for both management types. Its just a matter of delivery… What to say
What to say to a digital conservative 1.Ive noticed a way that I think digital is impacting our business (or could enhance or business) 2.And, Ive been monitoring the associated metrics 3.This is the trend (show the data) 4.Question: at what point in the trend should we shift our legacy process to meet this rising need or trend? 5.Then listen.
What else you could say: Did you know that we could save X and increase customer satisfaction if we shifted this phone-centered process to an online one? Ive been doing some research on how our competitors decreased their call center expense by 97%... Then be prepared because they are going to want to know how much investment the company will need to make…
What to say to a digital progressive We are running 7 different web content management systems in the business. 1.It is costing us a lot of money (show the number) 2.It is keeping us from doing this cool, state-of-art Web thing that our customers want, our competitors are doing, but requires a more integrated approach to content management or application development. 3.(Be prepared to talk money and execution tactics).
What else you could say We have over 30 twitter accounts (that was your big idea). Did you know that over half of them are un- moderated?
1.Often leaders dont care exactly how digital gets done and you really dont want them to care. 2.Take the time to understand the job of being a leader. You learn their language. 3.Figure out if you have a digital conservative or a digital progressive as a leader. 4.Tune your message your leaders digital style--always remembering that context specific data related to business outcomes is the language of leadershipnot best practices. Four things to remember:
Lisa Welchman @lwelchman www.welchmanpierpoint.com Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design Coming in 2013
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