Celerity recently hosted a webinar on pragmatic transformation with guest speakers Nigel Fenwick of Forrester and Randy Hopper of Navy Federal, moderated by Celerity CEO Ken Quaglio.
I watched the webinar, Think Small: The Realist’s Case for Pragmatic Transformation, with special interest because transformation is something I see companies wrestling with every day.
I’ve witnessed firsthand the hard work, strategic thinking, and Herculean effort required to pull off successful transformations. I’ve been a part of transformations that have made dramatic impacts, including at companies like Navy Federal. It’s rewarding to witness the exhilaration that goes along with seeing the work you’re doing make a real difference in the way people interact with a product, service, or company.
As someone who lives and breathes digital and the way it’s impacting businesses in a wide range of industries, here were my 3 main takeaways from watching the webinar (more than once). I’m sharing them here with the hope that you won’t become another statistic in the digital transformation wasteland.
1. Look to a broader ecosystem to innovate and co-create value for your customer.
Digital transformations are as much about tapping into resources outside your own four walls as they are about making the most of your company’s own talent and resources. In the clip below, Randy shares his thoughts on why partners and platforms can actually accelerate the pace at which teams like his provide value to their customers, saying in part:
I think that there’s a perception that because you’re on a shared platform, you don’t have as much control over the innovation. I don’t think that’s true…Being a part of an ecosystem with many partners opens up the opportunity to co-innovate and co-create.
2. Agile isn’t limited to IT or software development anymore.
Agile is being adopted in areas that extend well beyond the world of traditional IT or development teams. Today, agile is as much a business approach as it is a way of rapidly developing software. That was a theme that both Randy and Nigel spoke to during the webinar. In discussing how he sees agile playing out at Navy, Randy said:
I would tell everyone the key to agile is not to isolate it in the IT space because it’s a great opportunity…to get the rest of the operation accustomed to the rapid pace of change and to the data-driven mindset that, as we make changes, we shouldn’t expect the environment to stay the same.
3. Learning and adaptation is paramount to successful transformation.
Transformation requires knowing what metrics you want to improve upon and having a way to measure whether or not the changes you’re making are driving the results you expect to see. Whereas some talk about the concept of “failing fast,” Randy takes a slightly different view of how to experiment and learn in order to drive pragmatic transformation:
We talk about learning, because ultimately when we put a product out there or a capability, the goal is to see how both our team members and our members are interacting with it, and then try to optimize or take it off the table if it’s not working.
Watch the Webinar + Related Reading
If you’re interested in viewing the full hour-long webinar, you can sign up to watch here. If you’re interested in reading more on the topic, read the recent brief I co-wrote titled Why Do Companies Struggle with Digital Transformation?.