tech

Digital transformation dreaming

creativeThere is a huge pile of research reports and studies on my desk how digitization will change the way we do business. And I am sure there are similar piles in many managers’ offices. But what good are the best reports if you are unable to move the transformation forward?

Those that are succeeding in moving along their digital transformation have two things in common: one, they not only understand what digital transformation means, they also know that it means a fundamental change for the whole company. And two, they ensure that they have the right resources with the right expertise to transform their corporate culture to meet the upcoming challenges.

Digital transformation needs to driven by the CEO. Not your Head of IT. Not your Head of Sales. Not your Head of Something Something. It needs to be one of the top strategic priorities for the whole company driven from the top down.

Digital transformation is not walking down a straight path. You will need to be open for new business models. For new ways of implementing products and services. And your corporate culture will need to allow failure.

Digital transformation can be driven an internal facilitator like a Chief Digital Officer or even be outsourced into a new venture that can work without any “analog”disruption from the organization in form of resistance or doubts. But whatever way is chosen at the end of you will need a leader.

Digital transformation needs a leader who has a strong project management background, who is a multitasker, open to try new things. You will need someone who is impatient, a fast thinker , who plays well with others and is able to influence change within the culture of the board and with it the rest of the company. And you will need someone who is a strong communicator. Someone who can combine the “old” with the “new”.

That is why it is imperative for all organizations to start understanding what digital transformation means for their business and  how the digital competencies of new and existing directors will fit emerging strategies. And it is the CEO’s task to ensure that this journey is started on the right path.

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Digital in 2016

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Hot off the press comes We Are Social “Digital in 2016”.

I always suck up this report on digital, social and mobile usage around the world which is seeing ever faster growth.

 

 

The key statistics for digital, social, and mobile media in 2016 are:

  • 3.42 billion internet users, equaling 46% global penetration;
  • 2.31 billion social media users, delivering 31% global penetration;
  • 3.79 billion unique mobile users, representing 51% global penetration;
  • 1.97 billion mobile social media users, equating to 27% global penetration.

This means more than half of the world’s adult population now uses the internet, and (something exciting for me) that well over one-third of the adult population uses social media at least once a month.

It is also interesting to see – just like I was telling the audience at this week’s ISPO Communication Day – social media is moving from broadcasting to being social. It is all about connecting, personalization and providing true value. This will mean a big change for us marketeers! We will need to activate our listening skills, understand what our audience truly wants and well yes…become social.

The full report can be found here:

 

 

Some innovation to snack on

Summer is slowly saying goodbye. And just in time to keep the good vibes going, We Are Social have published their fourth Curiosity Stop. The last report was so full it was a bit overwhelming so they have toned it down to be more snackable. I really love MotorMood – an LED against road rage or just to put a smile on someone’s face, but also clever new innovations like Mr Gabriel. Used with a smartwatch, it lets you send a text with your location directly to pre-selected loved-ones.

I is for Inspiration – Takeaways From Google’s Larry Page Letter to Staff

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Big news from Google this week. Alphabet. Their new holding company. And a great name at that. Suggesting anything and everything and many new ideas and multitude of opportunties.

Larry Page letter to staff, announcing Alphabet, has some pretty good, quotable quotes.  Something any CEO or leader should take note of as they are relevant for any business that wants to be successful.

“We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about”

If you do not allow for genuine, contrarian ideas to be developed and heard in your company you are crushing innovation. Companies that have a true desire to keep innovating and investing in weird, amazing ideas are sure to be at the forefront of success.

“Over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes”

No one wants to end up being the next Blockbuster, Netscape or Kodak. Google is disrupting itself with Alphabet. And a clever move it is.

“Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable”

The restructuring allows Google to be agile (something the investors have been waiting for). Alphabet gives Google the flexibility to shift businesses. Not only under new umbrellas but also under new CEOs who may offer better leadership.

“Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence”


With each new business under Alphabet having separate management teams, more opportunities are freed up for career development. This in return is great
for attracting and retaining talent. And we must not forget it allows for strong employer branding. A smart move.

“Alphabet … means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations”

Google may be a tech giant but at the end of the day it is all about your clients and your employees.

And a little marketing side note:  Is it smart to re-organize one of the most recognizable brands on the planet? Sure. In creating Alphabet, Google is following powerful trend in corporate branding just like Apple or GE.  And having a complete house of  strong brands makes for a strong catalyst for innovation.

 

 

ISPO Munich 2014 – Visions become reality

rockWinter hesitantly arrived just in time for ISPO – making it all the more appropriate to check out the latest winter sport gear and clothing. ISPO is a great, colorful place for me to meet people and network, especially as this is an industry most removed from all my other daily business encounters.

After all the hype around this year’s CES in Las Vegas, I was pretty excited to check out the latest wearable tech on offer at ISPO. This year the organizers even dedicated a special wearable technologies show. I am amazed at the multitude of fitness trackers but none really stuck out. Probably most noteworthy was SenseCore . According to the Swiss startup, SenseCore not only can track the “regular” data but also has an EKG functionality, body temperature, acceleration and more. The sensors can be integrated into clothing and that way produce a multitude of data  In addition it is waterproof up to 5m. With a price tag of approx. EUR 900 this little wonder will most likely be used more for the professional sports people and possibly even whole teams.

hyperNot necessarily wearable tech but definitely wearable was Hyperice – a joint specific neoprene bandage that offers cold treatment. If you don’t mind looking like something out of Terminator it sure seems to produce great regenerative results.

While I always enjoy to check out the latest clothing, ski and snowboard gear the best place for me to go is ISPO BRANDNEW. This is where ISPO features the newcomers, the pioneers, the startups with a passion and vision. Having launched the Zipflracer myself at the trade show 6 years ago, I love spending time and talking with people who are at that same place as I was.

The most prominent new kids on the block this year were the bike crowd.  I particularly liked Loopwheels, a British startup that has truly “reinvented the wheel”. Funded by Kickstarter, loopLoopwheels has the suspension in the wheels, making riding much more comfortable. You can just buy the wheels or check out their foldable bike. Cool design. I got a great kick out of Ass Savers. There are so many bikers going passed me who look a little muddy on their be-hind. Well ass savers – basically bicycle mudguards will take care of that problem. They come in cool colors too. ass

And then there is also Pub Peddles. Never will have an excuse again not to ride my bike in my high heels (fortunately or unfortunately). They are attachments that will let you use any type of shoe to pedal. Easy to attach, many colors, how perfect is that.

filmThe other two startups that definitely got me excited were Fimbulvetr from Norway and Oru Kayak from my old home, California. Fimbulvetr has developed this amazing snowshoe that is lightweight and consists of only 12 pieces. But even better is the “all direction” hinge which gives your foot excellent flexibility while walking. Hopefully one day I can actually test this (please let it snow more again please!)

Oru Kayak of course got my heart beating faster as we have been looking for kayaks that we can take with us on our sailboat without taking up too much space like the one we have now. kayakAnother startup funded by Kickstarter, Oru Kayak gives you a kayak that comes in a bag, weighing approx. 12 kg and unfolds into a 3.66m long kayak. Brilliant. Discussions are already happening at my house how we can get one of these from California over the Adriatic!

beardAs an aside – even though I am known to have way way too many myself – I always wonder who buys all those hats and gloves that are presented at ISPO every year. They are so generic every year. Therefore my prize for most innovative headwear this year goes to Beardo – thanks for offering many options that made me smile.

 

At the end of the day I wished I’d had some wearable tech as I am sure to have logged at least 20 km walking the halls. See you next year!