Digital strategy: The four fights you have to win

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Digitalisering / Internet, Technology on November 19th, 2018 by admin

Yesterday’s tentative approaches won’t deliver; you need absolute clarity about digital’s demands, galvanized leadership, unparalleled agility, and the resolve to bet boldly.

If there’s one thing a digital strategy can’t be, it’s incremental. The mismatch between most incumbents’ business models and digital futures is too great—and the environment is changing too quickly—for anything but bold, inventive strategic plans to work.

Digital strategy: The four fights you have to win
Unfortunately, most strategic-planning exercises do generate incrementalism. We know this from experience and from McKinsey research: on average, resources don’t move between business units in large organizations. A recent book by our colleagues, Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick, seeks to explain what causes this inertia (strategy’s social side, rooted in individual interests, group dynamics, and cognitive biases) and to suggest a way out (understanding the real odds of strategy and overhauling your planning processes to deliver the big moves that can overcome those long odds).

All this holds doubly true for digital strategy, which demands special attention. Leaders in many organizations lack clarity on what “digital” means for strategy. They underestimate the degree to which digital is disrupting the economic underpinnings of their businesses. They also overlook the speed with which digital ecosystems are blurring industry boundaries and shifting the competitive balance. (For more on why companies often fall short, see “Why digital strategies fail.”) What’s more, responding to digital by building new businesses and shifting resources away from old ones can be threatening to individual executives, who may therefore be slow to embrace (much less drive) the needed change.

In our experience, the only way for leaders to cut through inertia and incrementalism is to take bold steps to fight and win on four fronts: You must fight ignorance by using experiential techniques such as “go-and-sees” and war gaming to break leaders out of old ways of thinking and into today’s digital realities. You must fight fear through top-team effectiveness programs that spur senior executives to action. You must fight guesswork through pilots and structured analysis of use cases. And you must fight diffusion of effort—a constant challenge given the simultaneous need to digitize your core and innovate with new business models.

In this article, we will describe how real companies are winning each of these fights—overcoming inertia while building confidence about how to master the new economics of digital. You can join these companies in that effort, thereby giving your digital strategy a jolt and accelerating the shift of your strategy process as a whole, from old-fashioned annual planning to a more continuous journey yielding big moves and big gains even when the end point isn’t entirely clear.

1. Fighting ignorance

Many senior executives aren’t fully fluent in what digital is, much less up to speed on the ways it can change how their businesses operate or the competitive context. That’s problematic. Executives who aren’t conversant with digital are much more likely to fall prey to the “shiny object” syndrome: investing in cool digital technologies (which might only be relevant for other businesses) without a clear understanding of how they will generate value in the executives’ own business models. They also are more likely to make fragmented, overlapping, or subscale digital investments; to pursue initiatives in the wrong order; or to skip foundational moves that would enable more advanced ones to pan out. Finally, this lack of grounding slows down the rate at which a business deploys new digital technologies. In an era of powerful first-mover advantages, winners routinely lead the pack in leveraging cutting-edge digital technologies at scale to pull further ahead. Having only a remedial understanding of trends and technologies has become dangerous.

Raising your technology IQ
For inspiration on how to raise your company’s collective technology IQ, consider the experience of a global industrial conglomerate that knew it had to digitize but didn’t think its leadership team had the expertise to drive the needed changes. The company created a digital academy to help educate its leadership about relevant digital trends and technologies and to provide a forum where executives could ask questions and talk with their peers. Academy leaders also brought in external experts on a few topics the company lacked sufficient internal expertise to address.

Supplementing the academy effort (aimed at leaders) was an organization-wide assessment of digital capabilities and an evaluation of the company’s culture. This provided a fact base, which everyone could understand, about what the organization needed to build over the course of the digital transformation. As business leaders developed digital plans, they were accountable for explaining and defending them to other executives. They also had to help gather those plans into an enterprise-wide digital strategy that every business leader understood and had helped to create.

Overcoming competitive blind spots
If your company resembles many we know, it’s still stuck in some old ways of thinking about where money gets made and by whom. You’re also likely to be overlooking ways digital is changing both the economics of the game and the players on the field in your industry. If any of this sounds familiar, you probably need a jolt—something that forces you to think differently about your business. More specifically, you need to start thinking about it as digital disruptors do. In our experience, this demands a process that begins with a sprint to get everything moving, to see what your industry (and your company’s role in it) could look like if you started from scratch, and to redraw your road map.

The financing division of a European financial-services company went through such a process when it tried to understand digital’s impact on its current lines of business. For example, a conversation began in the auto-loans division with the question “how can we make it easier for people to get their loans online?” It turned into a deeper examination of “how does our business model change if people stop buying cars and start buying mobility?” Similarly, an auto insurer might move from asking “how can I sell car insurance online better” to “what does car insurance mean in the context of autonomous vehicles?” There’s no substitute for exploring such questions, which emerge when digital, regulatory, and societal trends collide with today’s value chain (for more on these collisions, see “Digital strategy: Understanding the economics of disruption”).

Once the new realities are discovered, companies should speed up the process of understanding how other players—including nontraditional ones—will respond. The financial-services provider jump-started things by holding a series of war-gaming workshops. It divided its leadership team into groups and assigned them to role-play potential attackers such as Amazon, Google, or small, cherry-picking start-ups. Seeing through the eyes of “baggage-free” attackers inspires an awareness of how players with very different core competencies are likely to act in the new landscape. It can also propel a shared sense of urgency to change the old ways of thinking and acting.

These sessions radically changed the way the company’s leaders thought about their business, their industry, and the digital shifts remaking both. The end result was a set of leading-edge ideas for deploying digital to make the current operating model faster and more effective, for investing in new digital offerings, for designing and launching a new digital ecosystem to meet the emerging needs of digital consumers, and for partnering with start-ups beginning to emerge as leading players in advanced mobility.

2. Fighting fear
Getting left behind by digital first movers can be hazardous to your company’s future. But many of your executives may perceive responding to digital—making the big bets, building new businesses, shifting resources away from old ones—as hazardous to their own future. As we’ve noted, that exacerbates the social side of strategy and breeds strategic inertia. If you want to make big digital moves, you must fight the fear that your top team and managers will inevitably experience.

From what we have seen, this kind of fight doesn’t happen organically. You need to design a programmatic effort with the same rigor you would insist on to redesign key processes across your organization. This typically involves making a clear case that executives can’t hide from the changes digital is bringing and that encouraging and accelerating change—rather than chasing it—can create more value. Then you need to give executives the tools and support network they must have to succeed as leaders of that journey. Many companies focus on the extensive detailing of digital-initiative plans but skip the critical step of building an equally rigorous program to sustain the leaders driving change.

Honest dialogue
At the industrial company we discussed earlier, the move to digital implied significant change in the characteristics leaders required to be effective. Naturally, concerns about waning influence, or worse, followed for many of the company’s 20 or so business-unit leaders. The industrial conglomerate confronted these fears head-on by organizing a top-team effectiveness program to surface anxieties, build awareness of how they were affecting decision making, and define how leaders could remain relevant. In workshops, executives discussed the specific mind-sets and behavioral shifts needed to gain “ownership” of digital initiatives as a group and to become role models for their organizations.

Support networks
Leaders also formed communities that cut across their businesses, initially to share best practices and coordinate the timing of implementation. Over time, the role of these communities grew to include skill-building activities, such as bringing in speakers with specialized capabilities and motivational messages and organizing Silicon Valley go-and-sees that reinforced the importance of leading digital change. The communities also provided peer support to help teams navigate the new landscape.

We have seen other organizations similarly coalesce around digital-leadership training (sometimes supported by digital advisory boards) that helps executives to become comfortable with—even embrace—the uncertainty of the destination and the career trade-offs needed for a well-executed digital strategy. These support networks dovetail with, and bolster, the digital IQ–raising efforts we described earlier. Indeed, we find that leaders who understand the shifting economics also understand that their careers will be affected one way or another.

3. Fighting guesswork

Pursuing an aggressive digital strategy involves leaps into the unknown: simultaneously, you are likely to be moving into new areas and overhauling existing businesses with new technologies. What’s more, in many digital markets, the premium of being a first mover makes it necessary not only to shift direction but also to do so faster than your peers. The combination of ambiguity and the need for speed sometimes gives rise to guesswork and moves that are hasty or poorly thought out—and to anxiety about whether a move isn’t going to work or just needs more time.

Building the proof points as you go
One way to fight guesswork is to anchor your strategy decisions to a thesis about the business outcomes that different digital investments will produce. This is less about elaborate business-school modeling and more about thinking that draws fast, ground-level lessons from the data to determine whether your business logic is correct. Put another way, it means figuring out if there is sufficient value to make it worthwhile to invest something—as part of a process of learning even more. This approach increases the odds of successful implementation: a well-articulated view of the outcomes means that you can track how well the strategy is working. It also makes it easier to assess whether the new direction is worth it in terms of both financial capital and organizational pain.

Those proof points must be grounded in digital reality. Consider the experience of a global oil and gas company investigating the potential impact of several advanced technologies on its business. Rather than develop theoretical value-creation scenarios, the company’s digital center of excellence got busy exploring: How might sensors, robots, and artificial intelligence improve productivity and safety in unmanned operations? What operating hurdles, such as skill gaps among managers and frontline workers, would need to be overcome?

“Skunkworks” efforts began to give the company sharper insights into the timetables and financial profiles of different investments, so it avoided both the “finger in the air” syndrome (which dooms some digital efforts) and excessive modeling (which bogs down others). The end result was a value-thesis projection of a pretax cash-flow improvement exceeding 20 percent by 2025. That built the confidence of senior leaders and the board alike.

Pilots and stage gates
A second way to reduce the need for guesswork is to take full advantage of real-time data and the opportunities they provide for experimentation. Digital does amplify the gut-wrenching uncertainty by multiplying the strategic choices leaders face while reducing the time frame for making and implementing those decisions. But it also contains a silver lining: the potential for gaining rapid, data-driven insights into how things are going. Information on the progress of a product launch, for example, is available in days rather than months. That makes rapid course corrections possible and, ultimately, considerably improves the chances of success.

The oil and gas company mentioned earlier got a rapid bead on the impact that its digital initiatives were having on its business performance when it automated the evaluation of several business cases. Testing was more or less continuous, which reduced the level of anxiety about the investments, because executives had hard data on how things were performing rather than relying on guesses or intuition in realms they didn’t know extremely well. It also gave them more confidence to push cutting-edge solutions: they didn’t need to see how other oil and gas companies did things when they could move first and see, in near real time, what worked and what didn’t.

An important element of this nimble approach was breaking up big bets into smaller, staged investments. While the oil and gas company was ready to invest in digital, it was decidedly uncomfortable with throwing money at a problem and hoping for the best. It therefore developed a series of rigorous stage gates for investments managed by a new, central digital-transformation office. The office was charged with overseeing the portfolio of digital investments to ensure that the most promising projects were funded and others defunded before they soaked up valuable resources. In tandem, the head of the company’s digital efforts was vested with the responsibility for approving which ideas would move to initial development, basing these decisions on the organization’s overall vision for digital.

The ideas, which originated mostly with the business units, included clear requirements for testing. The “fail fast” mind-set was embedded from the outset because it allowed the company to learn quickly from mistakes and to minimize wasted funding. Another payoff was that the central team could identify synergies, which allowed the development costs of some investments to be shared rather than borne by a single business. These processes helped temper some of the risks of the bold investments the company was making, gave leaders the confidence to venture ahead as first movers, and kept open the option to correct course quickly when the data pointed in another direction.

4. Fighting diffusion
Effective strategy requires focus, but responding to digital inevitably risks diffusion of effort, or “spreading the peanut butter too thinly.” Most companies we know are trying, and struggling, to do two things at once: to reinvent the core by digitizing and automating some of its key elements, for example, and to create innovative new digital businesses. The challenge is acute because of the dizzying pace of digital change and the uncertainty surrounding the adoption of new technology. Even if the technology for autonomous vehicles pans out, for instance, when will the majority of people really begin to use them? Given the impossibility of knowing, it’s easy to wind up with an unfocused hodgepodge of digital initiatives—a far cry from a strategy.

Two concepts can help you navigate. First, view your company as a portfolio of initiatives at different stages of seeding, nurturing, growing, or pruning. Our colleague Lowell Bryan championed this view upward of 15 years ago, and it is more relevant than ever in our digital age because the opportunities, time frames, and economics of core businesses can be very different from those of new ones—so resources and efforts shouldn’t be applied uniformly.

Second, embrace the necessity of “big moves,” such as the dramatic reallocation of resources, sustained capital investment, radical productivity improvements, and disciplined M&A. As our colleagues have shown, successful market-beating strategies nearly always rest on such moves. Making them mutually reinforcing, so that developments in the core help to support new digital businesses and vice versa, is a critical part of managing the risks of diffusion.

To understand what the application of these ideas looks like in practice, consider the experience of a global IT-services company wrestling with how much to invest in digital over the next five years (rather than use standard R&D funding across all of the company’s business lines). That meant scrutinizing which traditional businesses faced obsolescence as a result of digital, whether digital could stretch any of those lifetimes (or if immediate divestment was preferable), which new digital businesses to invest in, and how much to invest.

A portfolio approach
As a first step, the company went through its portfolio business by business, focusing on three questions: Which emerging digital products and services were missing from the portfolio? Which product offerings and elements of the existing operating model should be digitized or fully digitally reengineered to improve customer journeys? And what areas should be abandoned? The answers for the company’s healthcare markets differed from those for banking, but the company became comfortable with hard choices and more attuned to new opportunities by tying all decisions to clear use cases.

As part of this exercise, the company developed scenarios for how the value pools in each of its industry verticals would probably shift across component customer value chains. It wanted to get a sense of the types of services that clients and potential clients were likely to demand and thus might try to obtain from new suppliers or IT outsourcers. For businesses where more revenue would be likely to shift, the company was comfortable placing bigger bets on new digital offerings, in contrast with its approach to businesses where the revenue at stake wasn’t changing as much.

Big, mutually reinforcing moves
This systematic evaluation of value-pool opportunities across the portfolio generated a frank discussion of how the organization’s risk appetite had to change. It also catalyzed a greater willingness to invest in new digital businesses—which the company did, to the tune of more than $1.5 billion. As part of this strategic evolution, the company launched an aggressive program to better leverage foundational digital capabilities, such as automation, advanced analytics, and big data. These capabilities, to be sure, were key building blocks for the new digital businesses. Just as important, however, by deploying the capabilities at scale across existing businesses, the company was better able to stretch the life of its core offerings.

The portfolio strategy paid dividends both in revenue gains and cost reductions. For example, investing in a balanced fashion between core and new businesses led to faster than expected revenue streams from new offerings. The company estimated that 40 percent of its revenues would flow from them within two to three years. Moreover, its digitally improved core businesses, with a sizable base of existing customer revenues, provided additional funding for the new digital portfolio. That increased the leadership’s commitment to the strategy, bolstering confidence that the new portfolio offerings would provide growth more than compensating for the eventual decline of core businesses.

Your best digital competitors—the ones you really need to worry about—aren’t taking small steps. Neither can you. This doesn’t mean that a digital strategy must be designed or put to work with any less confidence than strategies were in the past, though. Strategy has always required closing gaps in knowledge about complex markets, inspiring executive teams (and employees) to go beyond their fears and reluctance to act, and calibrating risks when you bet boldly.

The good news is that the digital era, for all its stomach-churning speed and volatility, also serves up more information about the competitive environment than yesterday’s strategists could ever imagine. Simultaneously, analytically backed, rapid test-and-learn approaches have opened up new avenues to help companies correct course while staying true to their strategic goals. Today’s leaders need to step up by persuading their organizations that digital strategies may be tougher than other strategies but are potentially more rewarding—and well worth the bolder bets and cultural reforms required, first, to survive and, ultimately, to thrive.

Source:, October 2018
By Tanguy Catlin, Laura LaBerge and Shannon Varney
About the authors: Tanguy Catlin is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Boston office, where Shannon Varney is an associate partner; Laura LaBerge is a senior practice manager of Digital McKinsey and is based in the Stamford office.

Will artificial intelligence make you a better leader?

Posted in Aktuellt, Digitalisering / Internet, Leadership / Ledarskap, Technology on May 8th, 2018 by admin

Agile leadership and AI both depend on learning to let go.

Consider this real-life scene: Reflecting on the difficult moments of his week, the new CEO of a UK manufacturer felt angry. His attention kept going back to the tension in several executive-team meetings. He had an urge to shake the team and push several of its members, who were riven by old conflicts, to stop fighting and start collaborating to solve the company’s real problems. He also sensed, though, that a brute-force approach was unlikely to get very far, or to yield the creative insights that the company desperately needed to keep up with its fast-changing competitive environment. Instead, he calmed himself, stopped blaming his team, and asked himself whether he could break the logjam by pursuing truly new approaches to the company’s problems. It was then that his mind turned to, of all things, artificial intelligence.

Like many leaders, the CEO was struggling to cope with the stress induced by uncertainty, rising complexity, and rapid change. All of these are part and parcel of today’s business environment, which is different enough from the one many of us grew up with to challenge our well-grooved leadership approaches. In a recent article, we described five practices that can help you step back from the tried and true and become more inwardly agile (see “Leading with inner agility”). Here, we want to describe the relationship between some of those ideas and a technology that at first glance seems to add complexity but in fact can be a healing balm: artificial intelligence (AI), which we take to span the next generation of advanced data and analytics applications. Inner agility and AI may sound like strange bedfellows, but when you consider crucial facts about the latter, you can see its potential to help you lead with clarity, specificity, and creativity.

The first crucial fact about AI is that you don’t know ahead of time what the data will reveal. By its very nature, AI is a leap of faith, just as embracing your ignorance and radical reframing are. And like learning to let go, listening to AI can help you find genuinely novel, disruptive insights in surprising and unexpected places.

A second fact about AI is that it creates space and time to think by filtering the signal from the noise. You let the algorithms loose on a vast landscape of data, and they report back only what you need to know and when you need to know it.

Let’s return to the CEO above to see an example of these dynamics in action. The CEO knew that his company’s key product would have to be developed more efficiently to compete with hard-charging rivals from emerging markets. He urgently needed to take both cost and time out of the product-development process. The standard approach would have been to cut head count or invest in automation, but he wasn’t sure either was right for his company, which was exhausted from other recent cost-cutting measures.

All this was on the CEO’s mind as he mused about the problematic executive dynamics he’d been observing—which, frankly, made several of his leaders unreliable sources of information. It was the need for objective, creative insight that stoked the CEO’s interest in AI-fueled advanced data analytics. A few days later, he began asking a team of data-analytics experts a couple broad and open-ended questions: What are the causes of inefficiencies in our product design and development workflow? What and where are the opportunities to improve performance?

The AI team trained their algorithms on a vast variety of data sources covering such things as project life-cycle management, fine-grained design and manufacturing documents, financial and HR data, suppliers and subcontractors, and communications data. Hidden patterns in the communication networks led to a detailed analysis of the interactions between two key departments: design and engineering. Using aggregated data that didn’t identify individual communications, the team looked at the number of emails sent after meetings or to other departments, the use of enterprise chat groups and length of chats, texting volume, and response rates to calendar invites, the algorithms surfaced an important, alarming discovery. The two departments were barely collaborating at all. In reality, the process was static: designers created a model, engineers evaluated and commented, designers remodeled, and so on. Each cared solely about its domain. The data-analytics team handed the CEO one other critical fact: by going back five years and cross-referencing communications data and product releases, they provided clear evidence that poor collaboration slowed time to market and increased costs.

By liberating the AI team to follow a direction and not a destination, the CEO’s original question, “How do we improve productivity?” became a much more human, “How are we working as a team, and why?” Based on this new empirical foundation, he enlisted the engineering and design leaders to form a cross-disciplinary team to reimagine collaboration. Working with the data scientists, the team was able to identify and target a 10 percent reduction in time to market for new-product development and an 11 percent reduction in costs. But the CEO didn’t stop there. He also used the experience to ask his executive team to develop a new agility. The previously fractured team worked hard to build a foundation of trust and true listening. Regular check-ins helped them pause, formulate new questions, invite healthy opposition, and ask themselves, “What are we really solving for?” The team was growing more complex to address the company’s increasingly complex challenges.

In our experience, AI can be a huge help to the leader who’s trying to become more inwardly agile and foster creative approaches to transformation. When a CEO puts AI to work on the toughest and most complex strategic challenges, he or she must rely on the same set of practices that build personal inner agility. Sending AI out into the mass of complexity, without knowing in advance what it will come back with, the CEO is embracing the discovery of original, unexpected, and breakthrough ideas. This is a way to test and finally move on from long-held beliefs and prejudices about their organization, and to radically reframe the questions in order to find entirely new kinds of solutions. And the best thing about AI solutions is that they can be tested. AI creates its own empirical feedback loop that allows you to think of your company as an experimental science lab for transformation and performance improvement. In other words, the hard science of AI can be just what you need to ask the kind of broad questions that lay the foundation for meaningful progress.

LinkAbout the author: Sam Bourton is the cofounder and chief technology officer of QuantumBlack, a McKinsey company, and is based in McKinsey’s London office; Johanne Lavoie is a partner in the Calgary office and coauthor of Centered Leadership: Leading with Purpose, Clarity, and Impact (Crown Business, 2014); and Tiffany Vogel is a partner in the Toronto office.

The next-generation operating model for the digital world

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Digitalisering / Internet, Technology on December 27th, 2017 by admin

Companies need to increase revenues, lower costs, and delight customers. Doing that requires reinventing the operating model.

Companies know where they want to go. They want to be more agile, quicker to react, and more effective. They want to deliver great customer experiences, take advantage of new technologies to cut costs, improve quality and transparency, and build value.

The problem is that while most companies are trying to get better, the results tend to fall short: one-off initiatives in separate units that don’t have a big enterprise-wide impact; adoption of the improvement method of the day, which almost invariably yields disappointing results; and programs that provide temporary gains but aren’t sustainable.

We have found that for companies to build value and provide compelling customer experiences at lower cost, they need to commit to a next-generation operating model. This operating model is a new way of running the organization that combines digital technologies and operations capabilities in an integrated, well-sequenced way to achieve step-change improvements in revenue, customer experience, and cost.

A simple way to visualize this operating model is to think of it as having two parts, each requiring companies to adopt major changes in the way they work:

The first part involves a shift from running uncoordinated efforts within siloes to launching an integrated operational-improvement program organized around customer journeys (the set of interactions a customer has with a company when making a purchase or receiving services) as well as the internal journeys (end-to-end processes inside the company). Examples of customer journeys include a homeowner filing an insurance claim, a cable-TV subscriber signing up for a premium channel, or a shopper looking to buy a gift online. Examples of internal-process journeys include Order-to-Cash or Record-to-Report.
The second part is a shift from using individual technologies, operations capabilities, and approaches in a piecemeal manner inside siloes to applying them to journeys in combination and in the right sequence to achieve compound impact.
Let’s look at each element of the model and the necessary shifts in more detail:

Shift #1: From running uncoordinated efforts within siloes to launching an integrated operational-improvement program organized around journeys
Many organizations have multiple independent initiatives underway to improve performance, usually housed within separate organizational groups (e.g. front and back office). This can make it easier to deliver incremental gains within individual units, but the overall impact is most often underwhelming and hard to sustain. Tangible benefits to customers—in the form of faster turnaround or better service—can get lost due to hand-offs between units. These become black holes in the process, often involving multiple back-and-forth steps and long lag times. As a result, it’s common to see individual functions reporting that they’ve achieved notable operational improvements, but customer satisfaction and overall costs remain unchanged.

Would you like to learn more about our Digital McKinsey Practice?
Instead of working on separate initiatives inside organizational units, companies have to think holistically about how their operations can contribute to delivering a distinctive customer experience. The best way to do this is to focus on customer journeys and the internal processes that support them. These naturally cut across organizational siloes—for example, you need marketing, operations, credit, and IT to support a customer opening a bank account. Journeys—both customer-facing and end-to-end internal processes—are therefore the preferred organizing principle.

Transitioning to the next-generation operating model starts with classifying and mapping key journeys. At a bank, for example, customer-facing journeys can typically be divided into seven categories: signing up for a new account; setting up the account and getting it running; adding a new product or account; using the account; receiving and managing statements; making changes to accounts; and resolving problems. Journeys can vary by product/service line and customer segment. In our experience, targeting about 15–20 top journeys can unlock the most value in the shortest possible time.

We often find that companies fall into the trap of simply trying to improve existing processes. Instead, they should focus on entirely reimagining the customer experience, which often reveals opportunities to simplify and streamline journeys and processes that unlock massive value. Concepts from behavioral economics can inform the redesign process in ingenious ways. Examples include astute use of default settings on forms, limiting choice to keep customers from feeling overwhelmed, and paying special attention to the final touchpoint in a series, since that’s the one that will be remembered the most.

In 2014, a major European bank announced a multiyear plan to revamp its operating model to improve customer satisfaction and reduce overall costs by up to 35 percent. The bank targeted the ten most important journeys, including the mortgage process, onboarding of new business and personal customers, and retirement planning. Eighteen months in, operating costs are lower, the number of online customers is up nearly 20 percent, and the number using its mobile app has risen more than 50 percent. (For more on reinventing customer journeys, see “Putting customer experience at the heart of next-generation operating models,” forthcoming on

Shift #2: From applying individual approaches or capabilities in a piecemeal manner to adopting multiple levers in sequence to achieve compound impact
Organizations typically use five key capabilities or approaches (we’ll call them “levers” from now on) to improve operations that underlie journeys:

Digitization is the process of using tools and technology to improve journeys. Digital tools have the capacity to transform customer-facing journeys in powerful ways, often by creating the potential for self-service. Digital can also reshape time-consuming transactional and manual tasks that are part of internal journeys, especially when multiple systems are involved.1
Advanced analytics is the autonomous processing of data using sophisticated tools to discover insights and make recommendations. It provides intelligence to improve decision making and can especially enhance journeys where nonlinear thinking is required. For example, insurers with the right data and capabilities in place are massively accelerating processes in areas such as smart claims triage, fraud management, and pricing.
Intelligent process automation (IPA) is an emerging set of new technologies that combines fundamental process redesign with robotic process automation and machine learning. IPA can replace human effort in processes that involve aggregating data from multiple systems or taking a piece of information from a written document and entering it as a standardized data input. There are also automation approaches that can take on higher-level tasks. Examples include smart workflows (to track the status of the end-to-end process in real time, manage handoffs between different groups, and provide statistical data on bottlenecks), machine learning (to make predictions on their own based on inputs and provide insights on recognized patterns), and cognitive agents (technologies that combine machine learning and natural-language generation to build a virtual workforce capable of executing more sophisticated tasks). To learn more about this, see “Intelligent Process Automation: The engine at the core of the next generation operating model.”
Business process outsourcing (BPO) uses resources outside of the main business to complete specific tasks or functions. It often uses labor arbitrage to improve cost efficiency. This approach typically works best for processes that are manual, are not primarily customer facing, and do not influence or reflect key strategic choices or value propositions. The most common example is back-office processing of documents and correspondence.
Lean process redesign helps companies streamline processes, eliminate waste, and foster a culture of continuous improvement. This versatile methodology applies well to short-cycle as well as long-cycle processes, transactional as well as judgment-based processes, client-facing as well as internal processes.

Guidelines for implementing these levers
In considering which levers to use and how to apply them, it’s important to think in a holistic way, keeping the entire journey in mind. Three design guidelines are crucial:

1. Organizations need to ensure that each lever is used to maximum effect. Many companies believe they’re applying the capabilities to the fullest, but they’re actually not getting as much out of them as they could. Some companies, for example, apply a few predictive models and think they’re really pushing the envelope with analytics—but in fact, they’re only capturing a small fraction of the potential value. This often breeds a false complacency, insulating the organizations from the learnings that would otherwise drive them to higher performance because it is “already under way” or “has been tried”. Having something already under way is a truism: everyone has something under way in these kinds of domains, but it is the companies that press to the limit that reap the rewards. Executives need to be vigilant, challenge their people, and resist the easy answer.

In the case of analytics, for example, maxing out the potential requires using sophisticated modeling techniques and data sources in a concerted, cross-functional effort, while also ensuring that front-line employees then execute in a top-flight way on the insights generated by the models.

2. Implementing each lever in the right sequence. There is no universal recipe on sequencing these levers because so many variables are involved, such as an organization’s legacy state and the existing interconnections between customer-facing and internal processes. However, the best results come when the levers can build on each other. That means, in practice, figuring out which one depends on the successful implementation of another.

Systematic analysis is necessary to guide decision making. Some institutions have started by outlining an in-house versus outsource strategy rooted in a fundamental question: “What is core to our value proposition?” Key considerations include whether the activities involved are strategic or confer competitive advantage or whether sensitive data or regulatory constraints are present.

The next step is to use a structured set of questions to evaluate how much opportunity there is to apply each of the remaining levers and then to estimate the potential impact of each lever on costs and customer experience. This exercise results in each lever being assigned an overall score to help develop a preliminary point of view on which sequence to use in implementing the levers.

There’s also a need to vet the envisioned sequences in the context of the overall enterprise. For example, even if the optimal sequence for a particular customer journey may be “IPA then lean then digital,” if the company’s strategic aspiration is to become “digital first,” it may make more sense to digitize processes first.

This systematic approach allows executives to consider various sequencing scenarios, evaluate the implications of each, and make decisions that benefit the entire business.

3. Finally, the levers should interact with each other to provide a multiplier effect. For example, one bank only saw significant impact from its lean and digitization efforts in the mortgage application journey after both efforts were working in tandem. A lean initiative for branch offices included a new scorecard that measured customer adoption of online banking, forums for associates to problem solve how to overcome roadblocks to adoption, and scripts they could use with customers to encourage them to begin mortgage applications online. This, in turn, drove up usage of online banking solutions. Software developers were then able to incorporate feedback from branch associates, which made future digital releases easier to use for customers. This in turn drove increased adoption of digital banking, thereby reducing the number of transactions done in branches.

Some companies have developed end-to-end journey “heat maps” that provide a company-wide perspective on the potential impact and scale of opportunity of each lever on each journey. These maps include estimates for each journey of how much costs can be reduced (measured in terms of both head count and financial metrics) and how much the customer experience can be improved.

Companies find heat maps a valuable way to engage the leadership team in strategic discussions about which approaches and capabilities to use and how to prioritize them.

Case example: The ‘first notice of loss’ journey in insurance
In insurance, a key journey is when a customer files a claim, known in the industry as first notice of loss (FNOL). FNOL is particularly challenging for insurers because they must balance multiple objectives at the same time: providing a user-friendly experience (for example, by offering web or mobile interfaces that enable self-service), managing expectations in real time through alerts or updates, and creating an emotional connection with customers who are going through a potentially traumatic situation—all while collecting the most accurate information possible and keeping costs in line.

Many companies have relied on Lean to improve FNOL call-center performance. One leading North American insurer, however, discovered it could unlock even more value by sequencing the buildout of three additional capabilities, based on the progress it had already made with Lean:

Digitization. This company improved response times by using digital technologies to access third-party data sources and connect with mobile devices. With these new tools, the insurer can now track claimant locations and automatically dispatch emergency services. Customers can also upload pictures of damages, and both file and track claims online. The insurer also allows some customers to complete the entire claims process without a single interaction with a company representative.

Advanced analytics. Digitization of the FNOL journey provided the insurer with more and better data faster, which in turn allowed its analytics initiative to be more effective. Now able to apply the latest modeling capabilities to better data, the company is using advanced analytics to improve decision making in the FNOL journey. For example, intelligent triage is used to close simple claims more quickly, and smart segmentation identifies claims likely to be total losses and those liable to require the special investigative unit (SIU) far earlier than before. Analytics are even being used to predict future staffing needs and inform scheduling and hiring, thereby allowing both complex and simple claims to be handled more efficiently.

Intelligent process automation (IPA). Once digital and analytics were in place, IPA was implemented. Automation tools were deployed to take over manual and time-consuming tasks formerly done by customer-service agents, such as looking up policy numbers or data from driving records. In addition to reducing costs, IPA sped up the process and reduced errors. IPA came last because the streamlining achieved by digitization and more effective use of analytics had eliminated some manual processes, so the IPA effort could focus only on those that remained.

By combining four levers—lean plus digital, analytics and IPA—this insurer drove a significant uplift in customer satisfaction while at the same time improving efficiency by 40 percent. (For more approaches to improving claims, see “Next-generation claims operating model: From evolution to revolution,” forthcoming on
Bringing it all together: Avoid creating new silos by thinking holistically
Senior leaders have a crucial role in making this all happen. They must first convince their peers that the next-generation operating model can break through organizational inertia and trigger step-change improvements. With broad buy-in, the CEO or senior executive should align the business on a few key journeys to tackle first. These can serve as beacons to demonstrate the model’s potential. After that comes evaluation of the company’s capabilities to determine which levers can be implemented using internal resources and which will require bringing in resources from outside. Finally, there is the work of actually implementing the model. (For more on the last topic, see “How to build out your next-generation operating model,” forthcoming on

Transformation cannot be a siloed effort. The full impact of the next-generation operating model comes from combining operational-improvement efforts around customer-facing and internal journeys with the integrated use of approaches and capabilities.

By Albert Bollard, Elixabete Larrea, Alex Singla, and Rohit Sood

Transforming operations management for a digital world

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Digitalisering / Internet, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering, Technology on October 13th, 2016 by admin

When combined, digital innovation and operations-management discipline boost organizations’ performance higher, faster, and to greater scale than has previously been possible.

In every industry, customers’ digital expectations are rising, both directly for digital products and services and indirectly for the speed, accuracy, productivity, and convenience that digital makes possible. But the promise of digital raises new questions for the role of operations management—questions that are particularly important given the significant time, resources, and leadership attention that organizations have already devoted to improving how they manage their operations.

At the extremes, it can sound as if digitization is such a break from prior experience that little of this history will help. Some executives have asked us point blank: “If so much of what we do today is going to be automated—if straight-through processing takes over our operations, for example—what will be left to manage?” The answer, we believe, is “quite a lot.”

More digital, more human
Digital capabilities are indeed quite new. But even as organizations balance lower investment in traditional operations against greater investment in digital, the need for operations management will hardly disappear. In fact, we believe the need will be more profound than ever, but for a type of operations management that offers not only stability—which 20th-century management culture provided in spades—but also the agility and responsiveness that digital demands.

The reasons we believe this are simple. First, at least for the next few years, to fully exploit digital capabilities most organizations will continue to depend on people. Early data suggestdw1 that human skills are actually becoming more critical in the digital world, not less. As tasks are automated, they tend to become commoditized; a “cutting edge” technology such as smartphone submission of insurance claims quickly becomes almost ubiquitous. In many contexts, therefore, competitive advantage is likely to depend even more on human capacity: on providing thoughtful advice to an investor saving for retirement or calm guidance to an insurance customer after an accident.

That leads us to our second reason for focusing on this type of operations management: building people’s capabilities. Once limited to repetitive tasks, machines are increasingly capable of complex activities, such as allocating work or even developing algorithms for mathematical modeling. As technologies such as machine learning provide ever more personalization, the role of the human will change, requiring new skills. A claims adjuster may start by using software to supplement her judgments, then help add new features to the software, and eventually may find ways to make that software more predictive and easier to use.

Acquiring new talents such as these is hard enough at the individual level. Multiplied across an organization it becomes exponentially more difficult, requiring constant cycles of experimentation, testing, and learning anew—a commitment that only the most resilient operations-management systems can support.

Seizing the digital moment
And if digital needs operations management, we believe it’s equally true that operations management needs digital. Digital advances are already making the management of operations more effective. Continually updated dashboards let leaders adjust people’s workloads instantly, while automated data analysis frees managers to spend more time with their teams.

The biggest breakthroughs, however, come from the biggest commitment: to embrace digital innovation and operations-management discipline at the same time. That’s how a few early leaders are becoming better performers faster than they ever thought possible. At a large North American property-and-casualty insurer, for example, a revamped digital channel has reduced call-center demand by 30 percent in less than a year, while improved management of the call-center teams has reduced workloads an additional 25 percent.

Achieving these outcomes requires organizations to tackle four major shifts.

Digital and analog, reinforcing each other
Digitization can be dangerous if it eliminates opportunities for productive human (or “analog”) intervention. The goal instead should be to find out where digital and analog can each contribute most.

That was the challenge for a B2B data-services provider, whose customized reports were an essential part of its white-glove business model. Rather than simply abandon digitization, however, the company enlisted both customers and frontline employees to determine which reports could be turned into automated products that customers could generate at will.

Working quickly via agile “sprints,” developers tested products with the front line, which was charged with teaching customers how to use the automated versions and gathering feedback on how they worked. The ongoing dialogue among customers, frontline employees, and the developer team now means the company can quickly develop and test almost any automated report, and successfully roll it out in record time.

Driving digital, enterprise-wide
Developing new digital products is only the beginning, as a global bank found when it launched an online portal. Most customers kept to their branch-banking habits—even for simple transactions and purchases that the portal could handle much more quickly and cheaply.

Building the portal wasn’t enough, nor was training branch associates to show customers how to use it. The whole bank needed to reorient its activities to showcase and sustain digital. That meant modifying roles for everyone from tellers to investment advisers, with new communications to anticipate people’s concerns during the transition and explain how customer service was evolving. New feedback mechanisms now ensure that developers hear when customers tell branch staff that the app doesn’t read their checks properly.

Within the first few months, use of the new portal increased 70 percent, while reductions in costly manual processing means bringing new customers on board is now 60 percent faster. And throughout the changes, employee engagement has actually improved.

Realigning from the customer back
The next shift redesigns internal roles so that they support the way customers work with the organization. That was the lesson a major European asset manager learned as it set out on a digital redesign of its complex, manual processes for accepting payments and for payouts on maturity. The entire organization consisted of small silos based on individual steps in each process, such as document review or payment processing—with no real correlation to what customers wanted to accomplish. The resulting mismatch wasted time and effort for customers, associates, and managers alike.

The company saw that to digitize successfully, it would have to rethink its structure so that customers could easily move through each phase of fulfilling a basic need: for instance, “I’ve retired and want my annuity to start paying out.” The critical change was to assign a single person to redesign each “customer journey,” with responsibility not only for overseeing its digital elements but also for working hand in glove with operations managers to ensure the entire journey worked seamlessly. The resulting reconfiguration of the organization and operations-management systems reduced handoffs by more than 90 percent and cycle times by more than half, effectively doubling total capacity.

Making better leaders through digital
The final shift is the furthest reaching: digital’s speed requires leaders and managers to develop much stronger day-to-day skills in working with their teams. Too often, even substantial dw2behavior changes don’t last. That’s when digital actually becomes part of the solution.

About two years after a top-to-bottom transformation, cracks began to show at a large North American property-and-casualty insurer. Competitors began to catch up as associate performance slipped. Managers and leaders reported high levels of stress and turnover.

A detailed assessment found that the new practices leaders had adopted—the cycle of daily huddles, problem-solving sessions, and check-ins to confirm processes were working—were losing their punch. Leaders were paying too little attention to the quality of these interactions, which were becoming ritualized. Their people responded by investing less as well.

Digital provided a way for leaders to recommit. An online portal now provides a central view of the leadership activities of managers at all levels. Master calendars let leaders prioritize their on-the-ground work with their teams over other interruptions. Redefined targets for each management tier are now measured on a daily basis. The resulting transparency has already increased engagement among managers, while raising retention rates for frontline associates.

Organizations investing in human and digital capabilities can start by asking themselves several critical questions:

Do we really understand how customers interact with us now, and how they want to in the future?

How can we give customers the experience they want, no matter which digital and human channels they use?

How can we speed our metabolism so we can uncover new opportunities for better performance?

Can our culture become flexible enough for us to collaborate effectively with our customers through constant change?

Capturing the digital opportunity will require even greater operations-management discipline. But digital also makes this discipline easier to sustain. Adding the two together creates a powerful combination.

Source:, October 2016
By: Albert Bollard, Alex Singla, Rohit Sood, and Jasper van Ouwerkerk
About the authors: Albert Bollard is an associate partner in McKinsey’s New York office, Alex Singla is a senior partner in the Chicago office, Rohit Sood is a partner in the Toronto office, and Jasper van Ouwerkerk is a senior partner in the Amsterdam office.

Ledarskap för digitalisering

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Digitalisering / Internet, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Technology on October 5th, 2016 by admin

Frågan den som vill stresstesta sin egen organisation bör besvara är om det i dagsläget finns ett ledarskap och en kultur som krävs för att möta den förändring digitaliseringen för med sig, t ex dra full nytta av digitaliseringens möjligheter. En av de viktigaste grundbultarna som lyfts fram i studier om digital transformation av verksamheter är att det är en fråga för VD:n och styrelsen och att de inte får lämpa över ett så viktigt arbete till IT-chefen.

Att ställa om en organisation till digitalt leder oundvikligen till en del smärtsamma omställningar för individer i organisationen. Det handlar om roller som får mindre att tycka till om, om chefer som får mindre makt, om resurser som styrs om och om större krav på snabbrörlighet i organisationen. Denna ledarskapsutmaning är i sig ett tecken på det som karaktäriserar den digitaldisrupdigitala omställningen – den bryter upp de silos där vi är trygga och tvingar oss alla ut på djupt vatten.

Nära hälften av alla chefer, oavsett om de har en IT-roll eller inte, har varit med och fattat strategiska beslut kring digitalisering. Det kommer inte som någon överraskning att över hälften av dessa chefer (chefer som varit delaktiga i IT-beslut men som inte formellt har en roll inom IT) säger att de inte känner sig ha tillräckligt med kompetens för att fatta sådana beslut . Oavsett om man känner sig redo eller inte kommer fler och fler chefer bli inblandade i beslut som rör digitalisering. Det blir därför en kärnfråga att utbilda alla beslutsfattare i de villkor och möjligheter som digitaliseringen för med sig. Men hur ska man då vara och agera för att vara en bra digital ledare?

Fyra nycklar för digitala ledare
Idealt är det VD som tar täten i omställningen mot att bli en sant digital organisation. Att driva en sådan omvälvande förändring kräver ett starkt och uthålligt ledarskap som vågar ta obekväma beslut och driva igenom nödvändiga organisationsförändringar, maktförskjutningar och kulturskiften . Men samtidigt som VD behövs för att digitaliseringen ska lyckas sätter transformationen också press på alla ledare i verksamheten att ställa om till ett digitalt och innovativt mindset.
Fyra nyckelfaktorer kan ringas in när det gäller ledarskap för digital transformation.

1. Helhetsperspektiv
Skaffa er en samlad helhetsbild över vart utvecklingen är på väg. Bryt silos, lös upp revir och anställ generalister som förstår helhet och affär för att leda förändringen mot digitalt.

2. Säg hej då till det gamla
Var snabb när det gäller att förstå vilka kompetenser och avdelningar som blir obsoleta i det nya paradigmet och satsa på att skola om dem. Det blir för dyrt och trögt att hålla fast vid det gamla.

3. Snabbhet och innovation
Se till att dina gamla processer inte sinkar den digitala utvecklingen. Digital innovation kan gå snabbare än innovation i hårdvara och förväntas därför göra det. Eftersom digitaliseringen kommer genomsyra hela verksamheten kommer också innovation förväntas av alla.

4. Vision och strategi framför kontroll
Visioner, strategier och ramverk främjar innovation – kontroll dämpar. Sätt upp ambitiösa mål som inspirerar till helt nya sätt att jobba. Gör alla ledare till innovationsledare.

Källa: Kairosfuture.som, 5 oktober 2016
Del av artikel. Läs h e l a artikeln här.
Läs mer om Kairos Future här

Boosta din karriär med Snapchat

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap, Technology on August 13th, 2016 by admin

“Vi nås av cirka 5.000 budskap per dygn, sju till tio av dem kommer vi ihåg”
Hur säkerställer du att din / er kommunikation når fram?

Jackie Kothbauer är expert på sociala medier och det personliga varumärket. Hon förklarar vilka fördelar och möjligheter det finns, både för den enskilde individen och för företag, med att vara närvarande på sociala medier som Snapchat, Instagram och Facebook.

Jackie Kothbauer har jobbat som digital affärsutvecklare, venture manager, journalist och head of content. I dag jobbar hon som författare och föreläsare inom ett ämne som hon brinner för: det personliga varumärket i sociala 1
— Först jobbade jag i tio år som digital affärsutvecklare och lanserade Sveriges första webbportal. Det var parallellt med att sattes på banan, säger Jackie.

Webben var fortfarande jungfrulig mark och företag visste inte hur de skulle skapa det digitala kundmötet. Förväntningarna på e-handelns volymer var stora. Det skulle dock dröja många år innan kunderna erbjöds ett utbud, som gav dem anledning att överge den fysiska handeln.

— Under många år var e-handel och webbplatser stela broschyrer i digital form. I dag har integrationen mot sociala medier och fysiska butiker revolutionerat vårt sätt att handla. Ett köp på nätet tar i snitt 3 minuter att genomföra, men leveransen 3 dagar. Så potentialen är alltjämt stor.

Men Jackie hade en annan karriärdröm som hon beslöt sig för att försöka uppnå.

— Jag hade drömmen om att skriva böcker. Men jag hade ingen roman i huvudet. Så jag gjorde en marknadsundersökning och upptäckte att de enda författarna som kunde försörja sig var Jan Guillou, Liza Marklund, Måns Kallentoft och Camilla Läckberg och liknande. Deras bakgrund var antingen journalistik eller ekonomi. Då tänkte jag att om jag lägger till journalistik till min högskoleutbildning inom ekonomi, skulle det ordna sig på något vänster. Samtidigt slog sociala medier igenom och plötsligt hittade mitt ämne – människan som mediekanal. Nästan lite Matrix och Bladerunner.

Jackies passion för sociala medier och hennes bakgrund inom kundbeteende på internet gav henne en tydlig bild av framtiden. Hon förutspådde att det personliga varumärket skulle bli allt viktigare och bestämde sig för att lära sig allt som fanns kring ämnet.

– Jag såg möjligheten för den enskilda individen att boosta sin karriär eller bli framgångsrik företagare. Allt handlar ju i grunden om att erbjuda marknaden något den behöver och är beredd att betala för. I takt med att sociala medier har ökat i betydelse för marknadsföring och försäljning har en ny roll växt fram – medarbetaren som språkrör för sin arbetsgivare.

Anställda inom försäljning och rekrytering är enligt Jackie Kothbauer de som varit snabbast med att anamma sociala medier som verktyg för att hitta kunder respektive kandidater. De företag som ligger längst fram försöker dock bredda satsningen och få alla sina medarbetare att bli digitala ambassadörer.

– I takt med att kunder och jobbsökare använder nätet för att hitta en produkt eller ett nytt jobb är det logiskt att företag försöker nå ut bättre. Vem är mer trovärdig som representant för en organisation än deras nuvarande medarbetare?

Under min intervju med Jackie så är det någonting som slår mig – hon har hittat sin passion. Hon berättar initierat och med glöd om det personliga varumärket och hur framtiden kommer att se ut knutet till sociala medier.

– Ibland får jag frågan: Kan alla bygga ett eller har alla ett personligt varumärke? Då skulle jag säga: “Nej, alla har inte det.”. Det är en sak att ha en personlig relation och vara känd av någon du umgås med. Det är en helt annan sak att en person som aldrig har träffat dig utan problem kan leta rätt på dig och har en tydlig uppfattning om vem du är. Först då har du ett personligt varumärke.

Jackie lägger en stark betoning på hur viktigt det är för företag att se värdet i sina medarbetare och deras nätverk i sociala medier.
— De nätverken innehåller ett förtroendekapital, som sällan finns mellan en kommersiell aktör och en kund. Om du kan få dina medarbetare och kunder att prata om dina produkter och tjänster, har du skapat världens effektivaste försäljningskanal. Vi har bara sett början av denna utveckling i takt med att reklamtröttheten ökar och mobilen ökar vår konsumtion av sociala medier.

sm 2Ett budskap från en medarbetare skapar större förtroende än traditionell reklam, enligt Jackie.
— Vi nås av cirka 5.000 budskap per dygn, sju till tio av dem kommer vi ihåg. Det betyder att bortfallet är enormt! De människor vi har en relation till använder vi redan i dag i sociala medier för att bli tipsade om värdefulla, intressanta nyheter. Utnyttja den dialogen och försök få in era budskap där.
— Det mest intressanta är om medarbetare sprider budskapen i sina professionella nätverk på sociala medier. Där har de ofta kunder och kontakter som tillskriver dem en högre trovärdighet.

De senaste åren har Jackie sett att värdet av ett personligt varumärke digitalt har blivit allt viktigare och mer värdefullt, precis som hon förutspådde. Intressant nog visar studier att det inte är de mest uppenbara talespersonerna som är mest effektiva.
—Vd:n är ju den vanligaste talespersonen, men samtidigt är alla medvetna om att hen är en säljare som försöker hålla kunder, aktieägare och andra stakeholders på gott humör. När kunden träffar en enskild medarbetare, som är kunnig inom sitt område är trovärdigheten i budskapet så mycket högre. Det beror inte minst på att de flesta enbart möter en vd via massmedier. En miljö som generellt påverkar trovärdigheten negativt.

Medarbetaren som språkrör är inget nytt, enligt Jackie. I vissa branscher som politik, IT och finans har man länge låtit medarbetare agera experter i olika medier.
— Evangelists har funnits sedan 1980-1990-talen inom techbranschen. De var bland de första som blev stora på Twitter när det startade också. Chefsekonomer är populära inom finans och inom politiken har sakkunniga talespersoner för olika ämnen byggts upp av partier för ökat genomslag. Vi minns alla hur Carl Bildt blev betydligt större än sitt parti i sociala medier. Även när han inte var minister.

Enligt Jackie är det en bra idé att bygga sina medarbetares personliga varumärke utifrån deras expertområde. Det maximerar deras trovärdighet. På motsvarande sätt har vi alla större tilltro till dem bland våra vänner som är nerdar och uttalar sig kring sina favoritämnen. De är en slags amatörevangelists och inte minst inom tech- och gamingindustrin har företag varit duktiga på odla relationerna till dessa nyckelkunder.
– Det som techindustrin gjort är intressant. Microsoft, Apple och andra IT-giganter har länge haft anställda evangelists. Det beror på att produktutvecklingen i deras branscher går så snabbt att kundens informationsbehov vid köp är stort. Alla vill ha det senaste och bästa, vilket gör rekommendationer och utvärderingar av experter extra värdefullt.

Jackie menar att företag behöver utbilda sina medarbetare för att bättre utnyttja att 50-70 procent av kundens köpprocess i dag, både inom B2B och B2C, sker på nätet. Sociala medier är en allt viktigare källa till affärer.
— De flesta känner sig inte som ett språkrör, som en Carl Bildt eller Fredrick Federley, som sprutar ut sig massa spännande inlägg. Det går dock att ge kommunikationsavdelningen uppdraget att bli deras spökskrivare. Företagen bör skicka ut ett nyhetsbrev en gång i veckan med exempel på uppdateringar som passar sociala medier. Undvik att bli för ensidigt säljande genom att max hälften av materialet handlar om det egna företaget och dess produkter. Låt andra hälften handla om branschen och världen runt omkring.

Jackie ser nya möjligheter inom de relativt unga sociala mediekanalerna Snapchat och Instagram och tror att företag har mycket att vinna på att lära sig dem.
— Det som är intressant med att vi har så många olika kanaler är att det börjar bli väldigt olika karaktärer på dem. Snapchat får Facebook att framstå som en runsten. Stel och rörig. Både Snapchat och Instagram har rena, enkla gränssnitt medan Facebook är som en gammal dagstidning. Gott och blandat.

Trenderna ändrar sig inom de sociala medierna. Bland annat visar statistiken att vi delar allt mindre eget material från våra liv på Facebook. Istället är det videoklipp, tidningsartiklar och eventnyheter som börjat dominera nyhetsflödet. Livesändningar från diverse mediekanaler är den senaste flugan.
– På Snapchat är det tvärtom. Där är det bara privata nyheter som gäller. Det som var Facebook för tio år sedan.

Det finns många fördelar för företag att vara aktiva på sociala medier, menar Jackie. En av de största är rekryteringspotentialen. Alla dagens medarbetare finns på nätet. Varför inte engagera dem i jakten på kollegor de skall möta varje dag på jobbet?
— Redan i dag förmedlas åtta av tio jobb, och nio av tio av konsultuppdrag via kontakter. En viktig anledning för alla människor att skaffa sig en bra nätprofil och bygga ut sitt kontaktnät. Bättre och viktigare sätt att framtidssäkra karriären finns inte. Alla som söker sig mot arbetsmarknaden under 30, framförallt inom bristyrken som företagen slåss om, som exempelvis programmerare och tekniska projektledare, finns på sociala medier. Därför kommer vi att se rekryterare bygga sina kontaktnät och personliga varumärken betydligt mer målmedvetet fram över. Talent manager är den nya trendtiteln inom HR och avser de rekryterare som har de attraktivaste kandidaterna i sitt stall. Vi går mot långsiktiga relationer där rätt talent manager hjälper dig att skapa en framgångsrik karriär.

Jackie menar att medarbetarnas sociala medienärvaro blir en indirekt form av rekryteringsprocess. För målmedvetna kandidater är framtida kollegor en viktig del av attraktionskraften i en tjänst. De innebär inte bara en chans att lära sig och utvecklas. En framgångsrik karriär kräver att du hamnar i rätt kretsar och odlar ditt kontaktnät.
— Arbetsgivare med duktiga medarbetare får via deras nätverk tillgång till en värdefull talangpool. Allt från studiekamrater till privata vänner. Att aktivera dessa nätverk är en framgångsfaktor i den sociala ekonomin.

Det är stor skillnad på generationerna och deras inställning till sociala medier. Jackie berättar om en senior partner på en advokatbyrå hon träffade.
— Han sa att han absolut inte fanns på Facebook, utan endast hans fru och att hon endast var där för att se bilder på barnbarnen. Hans inställning till sociala medier andades ett djupt förakt, en föreställning om ytlighet och narcissism, och att kunna föreställa sig sociala medier som ett arbetsredskap var omöjligt. Den äldre generationen inom jurister har ju den inställningen att de ska verka men inte synas, det gamla Wallenberg-citatet. Det är klienterna som ska synas.

Jackie kollade sedan upp hans son och såg en tydlig kontrast mellan generationerna.SM 3
— Han fanns naturligtvis på alla kanaler och bygger sitt varumärke på dem. Skillnaden mellan deras inställningar till sociala medier är ju då astronomisk även fast de har exakt samma yrke. Det gäller att vara offensiv, tänk som Fredrik Eklund, stjärnmäklaren. Han säger alltid: “Varenda människa jag träffar är potentiellt kunden till min nästa lägenhet.”. Han vågar vara personlig.

Att vara personlig på sociala medier är en av nycklarna till bygga ett framgångsrikt personligt varumärke, menar Jackie. Men det finns vissa branscher där det ställs högre krav på att behärska nätetiketten.
— Det är självklart att det inom vissa områden inte är lika enkelt, där det till exempel handlar om sekretess. Som exempelvis politiker, sjukvården, rättsmonopolet och utbildningsväsendet.

Så skapar du ett framgångsrikt personligt varumärke på sociala medier
Jackie Kothbauer har några generella tips för den som vill skapa ett framgångsrikt personligt varumärke på sociala medier:

1. För det första ska man förstå att ett personligt varumärke är en relation. Du måste från första början fundera på vem din målgrupp är. Hur kan mötet på nätet värdeladda er relation? Vad gör det värt deras tid och uppmärksamhet att ta del av dina uppdateringar. Gör du rätt blir du uppskattad. Gör du riktigt ifrån dig kan du bli affärskritisk.
2. För det andra bör du hitta en periodicitet, hur ofta ska ni träffas och umgås. Inte för sällan. Då blir du aldrig viktig. Inte för ofta. Då tar du för mycket plats.
3. Sedan ska du aldrig gå ut och bygga något i fler än tre kanaler samtidigt. Tänk på att det är en relation du bygger. Gör det hellre bra och med engagemang än spretigt och ofokuserat.

Källa:, augusti 2016
Intervju med: Jackie Kothbauer

Öka kundnyttan med livechatt

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Technology on April 13th, 2016 by admin

Livechatt har blivit en allt viktigare kommunikationskanal med kunder. Livechatten öppnar för både bättre kundservice och högre konverteringsgrad.
I takt med att webben blir allt viktigare både för kommunikation och transaktioner har livechatten blivit ett intressant verktyg för en bättre kundupplevelse. Bland B2B-företag är det mycket vanligt med livechatt och allt fler e-handlare erbjuder livechatt som en av flera kommunikationskanaler med kunderna.

– Vi har ungefär lika många kundkontakter via livechatt som telefon varje dag. Fördelen med livechatt är att en person kan hantera åtta kunder samtidigt medan det bara går att prata med en medlivechat telefon, säger Joel Svensson, grundare av nätbutiken Partykungen.
Vi vet att de flesta kunderna överger sina kundkorgar på nätet. En kundchatt vid rätt tillfälle kan minska andelen som överger butiken utan att handla.

Statistiken talar ett tydligt språk:
81 procent av svenska nätkunder anser att kontakten med kundservicen är viktig vid val av nätbutik, enligt E-barometerns årsrapport 2015 från Postnord.
44 procent av amerikanerna anser att det är viktigt att få svar på en fråga live medan hen handlar, enligt Forrester.
55 procent av amerikanerna är beredda att överge en nätbutik om de inte snabbt får svar på en fråga, enligt Forrester.
Fördelarna med en livechatt för kunden är att hen inte behöver ägna all sin uppmärksamhet åt kommunikationen med kundtjänst. Kunden kan fortsätta att titta på produkter, kolla mejl eller Facebook samtidigt som hen får svar på en fråga live.

För en yngre generation kan livechatt kännas bekvämare och mer hemtamt än en telefonkonversation. Dessutom får kunderna normalt sin fråga besvarad snabbare via livechatt än telefon. Statistik från livechatt-tjänsten Zopim visar att det i snitt tar 23 sekunder från kundens intiativ att kontakta en livechatt och tills hen får första svaret från kundtjänst.
Det går dessutom att arbeta proaktivt med livechatt. I mån om tid kan kundtjänstpersonal aktivt kontakta besökare i nätbutik vid den delen av köpprocessen där störst andel hoppar av sin kundvagn. Det finns exempel på företag som ökat sin konverteringsgrad från en till tjugo procent med en proaktiv livechatt.

Källa:, 13 april 2016

Fyra viktiga trender inom digital marknadsföring 2016

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Försäljning / Sales, Technology on February 15th, 2016 by admin

Samtidigt som digital marknadsföring växer kraftigt blir verktygen och metoderna allt mer förfinade. Vad är det som gäller 2016?

Tillväxten inom digital marknadsföring handlar om mer än kronor och ören. Begrepp som Programmatic, Automation, Content Marketing och Native Advertising håller på att förändra hur vi ser på marknadsföring och i ännu högre utsträckning hur vi i praktiken arbetar med marknadsföring. Med allt mer förfinade metoder och tekniker blir kompetenskraven allt högre på marknadsförare.

Investeringarna i marknadsföring kommer att öka med 2,2 procent i år, enligt Institutet för reklam och mediestatistik. Men den förändringskraftenDigital m 1 kommer ifrån segment som mobilmarknadsföring och webb-tv som kommer att växa med 40 procent. Även gamla trotjänare som sökmarknadsföring beräknas växa med 20 procent medan print fortsätter att tappa.

Det finns en handfull trender som marknadsförare måste ha full koll på 2016 för att inte hamna fel i marknadsföringsmixen.
Content Marketing. Att bygga relationer med kunder och sälja med hjälp av värdefullt innehåll är inte nytt, men digitaliseringen och den allt högre brusnivån i medierna har gjort Content Marketing till en av de hetaste trenderna inom marknadsföring. Samtidigt som gammelmedia har stora problem frodas content marketing-byråerna och varenda företag med självaktning verkar söka efter en Content Marketing Manager. När Google skriker efter kvalitetsinnehåll är det vanliga företag som har råd att investera i innehåll, medan mediernas allt mindre redaktioner lätt hemfaller till klickjournalistik.

Automation. När olika typer av digital marknadsföring och kanaler delar sig likt bakterier blir det övermäktigt för marknadsförare att administrera och utveckla alla nya typer av digital marknadsföring. Det är här automation kommer in. Genom att utnyttja verktyg som exempelvis skapar personaliserade mejlutskick utifrån kundernas beteende blir det enklare att hinna med. Att det dessutom går att presentera personaliserade budskap och landningssidor när kunder besöker sajter och nätbutiker är ytterligare ett sätt att utnyttja automation. Med nya programvaror som kan skapa unika texter för varje enskild besökare finns det egentligen ingen gräns för hur långt automationen kan drivas.
Digital m 2Programmatic. Programmatic är egentligen att specialfall av automation. Här handlar det om annonsnätverk som i realtid handlar upp banervisningar eller video-spottar där sedan avancerade algoritmer silar fram förfinade målgrupper på breda mediesajter. Tiden när marknadsförare köpte visningar manuellt och betalade premium för att visas på varumärkessäkra sajter är förbi. 80 procent av de större svenska mediehusen och annonssajterna var i höstas öppna för programmatiska annonsköp, enligt en studie av IAB Sverige.

Native Advertising. Att företag presenterar reklambudskap i redaktionellt format på mediesajter växer kraftigt. Både gamla och nya mediehus ser native advertising som räddaren i nöden när Adblockers knaprar på reklamintäkterna. För annonsörerna ger native advertising mer klick än traditionella banners, det gäller särskilt mobila användare.

Trenderna handlar om att hantera en snabbt föränderlig medieverklighet och den gemensamma nämnaren är att bli relevant för kunderna. Massmarknadsföringens tidevarv håller på att avlösas av personaviseringens tidevarv spetsad med relevant innehåll.

Källa: JaJaMagazine,, 19 januari 2016

What ‘digital’ really means

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Digitalisering / Internet, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering, Technology on February 2nd, 2016 by admin

Everyone wants to go digital. The first step is truly understanding what that is.

Companies today are rushing headlong to become more digital. But what does digital really mean?

For some executives, it’s about technology. For others, digital is a new way of engaging with customers. And for others still, it represents an entirely new way of doing business. None of these definitions is necessarily incorrect. But such diverse perspectives often trip up leadership teams because they reflect a lack of alignment and common vision about where the business needs to go. This often results in piecemeal initiatives or misguided efforts that lead to missed opportunities, sluggish performance, or false starts.

digi 2Even as CEOs push forward with their digital agendas, it’s worth pausing to clarify vocabulary and sharpen language. Business leaders must have a clear and common understanding of exactly what digital means to them and, as a result, what it means to their business (for a deeper look at how companies can develop meaningful digital strategies and drive business performance, see “Raising your Digital Quotient”).

It’s tempting to look for simple definitions, but to be meaningful and sustainable, we believe that digital should be seen less as a thing and more a way of doing things. To help make this definition more concrete, we’ve broken it down into three attributes: creating value at the new frontiers of the business world, creating value in the processes that execute a vision of customer experiences, and building foundational capabilities that support the entire structure.

Creating value at new frontiers
Being digital requires being open to reexamining your entire way of doing business and understanding where the new frontiers of value are. For some companies, capturing new frontiers may be about developing entirely new businesses in adjacent categories; for others, it may be about identifying and going after new value pools in existing sectors.

Unlocking value from emerging growth sectors requires a commitment to understanding the implications of developments in the marketplace and evaluating how they may present opportunities or threats. The Internet of Things, for example, is starting to open opportunities for disrupters to use unprecedented levels of data precision to identify flaws in existing value chains. In the automotive industry, cars connected to the outside world have expanded the frontiers for self-navigation and in-car entertainment. In the logistics industry, the use of sensors, big data, and analytics has enabled companies to improve the efficiency of their supply-chain operations.

At the same time, being digital means being closely attuned to how customer decision journeys are evolving in the broadest sense. That means understanding how customer behaviors and expectations are developing inside and outside your business, as well as outside your sector, which is crucial to getting ahead of trends that can deliver or destroy value.

Creating value in core businesses
Digital’s next element is rethinking how to use new capabilities to improve how customers are served. This is grounded in an obsession with understanding each step of a customer’s purchasing journey—regardless of channel—and thinking about how digital capabilities can design and deliver the best possible experience, across all parts of the business. For example, the supply chain is critical to developing the flexibility, efficiency, and speed to deliver the right product efficiently in a way the customer wants. By the same token, data and metrics can focus on delivering insights about customers that in turn drive marketing and sales decisions.

Critically, digital isn’t about just working to deliver a one-off customer journey. It’s about implementing a cyclical dynamic where processes and capabilities are constantly evolving based on inputs from the customer, fostering ongoing product or service loyalty. Making this happen requires an interconnected set of four core capabilities:

Proactive decision making. Relevance is the currency of the digital age. This requires making decisions, based on intelligence, that deliver content and experiences that are personalized and relevant to the customer. Remembering customer preferences is a basic example of this capability, but it also extends to personalizing and optimizing the next step in the customer’s journey. Data providers such as ClickFox, for example, blend data from multiple channels into one view of what customers are doing and what happens as a result. In the back office, analytics anddigi 1 intelligence provide near-real-time insights into customer needs and behaviors that then determine the types of messages and offers to deliver to the customer.

Contextual interactivity. This means analyzing how a consumer is interacting with a brand and modifying those interactions to improve the customer experience. For example, the content and experience may adapt as a customer shifts from a mobile phone to a laptop or from evaluating a brand to making a purchasing decision. The rising number of customer interactions generates a stream of intelligence that allows brands to make better decisions about what their customers want. And the rapid rise of wearable technology and the Internet of Things represents the latest wave of touchpoints that will enable companies to blend digital and physical experiences even more.

Real-time automation. To support this cyclical give-and-take dynamic with customers and help them complete a task now requires extensive automation. Automation of customer interactions can boost the number of self-service options that help resolve problems quickly, personalize communications to be more relevant, and deliver consistent customer journeys no matter the channel, time, or device. Automating the supply chain and core business processes can drive down costs, but it’s also crucial to providing companies with more flexibility to respond to and anticipate customer demand.

Journey-focused innovation. Serving customers well gives companies permission to be innovative in how they interact with and sell to them. That may include, for example, expanding existing customer journeys into new businesses and services that extend the relationship with the customer, ideally to the benefit of both parties. These innovations in turn fuel more interactions, create more information, and increase the value of the customer-brand relationship.

Building foundational capabilities
The final element of our definition of digital is about the technological and organizational processes that allow an enterprise to be agile and fast. This foundation is made up of two elements:

Mind-sets. Being digital is about using data to make better and faster decisions, devolving decision making to smaller teams, and developing much more iterative and rapid ways of doing things. Thinking in this way shouldn’t be limited to just a handful of functions. It should incorporate a broad swath of how companies operate, including creatively partnering with external companies to extend necessary capabilities. A digital mind-set institutionalizes cross-functional collaboration, flattens hierarchies, and builds environments to encourage the generation of new ideas. Incentives and metrics are developed to support such decision-making agility.

System and data architecture. Digital in the context of IT is focused on creating a two-part environment that decouples legacy systems—which support critical functions and run at a slower pace—from those that support fast-moving, often customer-facing interactions. A key feature of digitized IT is the commitment to building networks that connect devices, objects, and people. This approach is embodied in a continuous-delivery model where cross-functional IT teams automate systems and optimize processes to be able to release and iterate on software quickly.

Digital is about unlocking growth now. How companies might interpret or act on that definition will vary, but having a clear understanding of what digital means allows business leaders to develop a shared vision of how it can be used to capture value.

Source:, July 2015
Authors: Karel Dörner and David Edelman
About the authors: Karel Dörner is a principal in McKinsey’s Munich office, and David Edelman is a principal in the Boston office.

Mobilen kan förstöra din nattsömn

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Digitalisering / Internet, Technology on November 24th, 2015 by admin

Använder du smartmobilen i sängen? Forskare föreslår att telefoner ska utrustas med ett inbyggt nattfilter, så att du ska kunna vakna utvilad på morgonen.

CP1Ska du bara läsa färdigt kapitlet i e-boken eller titta färdigt på avsnittet av tv-serien innan du ska sova? Det kan förstöra din nattsömn, men ny forskning visar att ett enkelt filter på telefonen kan råda bot på problemet.
Det är forskare vid King’s College i London som har upptäckt att ett filter som gör telefonens skärm mer rödtonad ju senare på kvällen det blir, och att den förändringen ökar kroppens produktion av melatonin som hjälper dig att sova. Därför rekommenderar forskarna telefontillverkare att installera den här typen av filter, eftersom sömnproblem har börjar bli ett folkhälsoproblem.
Redan nu finns det appar som Lux och Twilight i Google Play Store som gör just detta, men forskarna anser att telefontillverkarna borde ta ett ökat ansvar för hur deras produkter påverkar kundernas nattsömn.

Källa:, november 2015