Keeping up with the Joneses – Digital Strategies Today
We all agree that the Digital World is fundamental to business success and will determine the victors from the vanquished. The below however is “tongue and cheek” review of some realities.
It stresses me that Digital Strategy Implementation in some Companies is the equivalent to flushing money down the toilet.
When I ask company CEO’s if they have implemented Agile Practices, a common answer is that they are very flexible or nimble. When I talk about Data Science and Analytics, they see the importance but not always the “Why”.
AI, Machine Learning, Robotics get similar type responses.
Massive budgets are allocated to projects in these areas because CEOs and Executives know that they are fundamentally, “the right thing to do”. This should always have a sanity check!
One CMO I met told me all about her project on using big data for competitor analysis but the objectives were not clear on what she was going to do with the results.
A certain COO was so pleased with their Robotics implementation but when we ran the numbers, they showed that the cost of a Robot was much more expensive and less accurate than the people the Robots replaced.
AI is fundamental to most companies’ strategy, but it is surprising how many people do not understand what the acronym means and much less, what are the real benefits of AI to their organization.
History is repeating itself where the corporate world followed each other and implemented monolithic Enterprise systems with little benefit to anyone.
“The Digital Race is on because Covid 19 has changed the way we work” Really!!!!!! Most of this type of language needs calibration!
“We must embrace AI because another bank is spending billions on it” this strategy has proved ineffective?
Cognitive biases are much to blame and since most of you understand the first two, let me focus on the third.
Cognitive biases are mostly brain tricks:
- Group Think – If everybody else agrees, then it must be right.
- Confirmation Bias – I’m the CEO and it seems everybody agrees with me (Of course they do, you decide their bonuses).
- Sunk Cost – I’m not sure if there is any value but we are 20% in, and I have spent $20m so I better continue.
How do we fix this? Easy, hold people accountable! If the Strategy Consultants believe their plan, only pay them once the benefits have been realized. If your employees believe their project Business Cases, take the appropriate action if the benefits are not realized.
There must be consequences for reckless spending!
Notwithstanding the above, Digital is probably the greatest disruptor in the 21st Century. My advice however would be to acquire the services of a “devil’s advocate”, who will critically review all initiatives. This must be on an independent basis and free from Cognitive Bias.