We Want to be Digital, But What Does that Mean?

| A few weeks ago I got a call from a client “Owen, we presented our digital strategy to the board yesterday.  It went well but the board wants us to go quicker and are prepared to invest in that.  Can we talk?” “Of course we can talk” I replied, “but before we dive into it, what exactly does the board mean when they say digital?” I have asked this question a lot over the last few years.  I asked this question initially because I didn’t have a clear definition Read more..

A Renovation Approach To Going Digital

| I reckon that for most large incumbent organisations (that is those born in an analogue age) going digital is a bit like embarking on a significant house renovation and extension.  But first let me take you back to the beginning of 2004. My wife and I decided to buy an old villa in Auckland.  We were new to Auckland and needed a place for our family to live in.  We knew where we wanted to live, loved period villas so when this smallish 3 bedroom villa came up we Read more..

When it comes to digital, always start with why!

| In the third most popular TED Talk of all time Simon Sinek urges leaders to start with why.  Sinek’s message was fairly simple.  Great communicators communicate very differently to most people.  Whereas most people communicate from the outside in, by describing what they do, great communicators communicate from the inside out by describing why they do what they do.  That is, they begin by describing their purpose, their cause, their beliefs.  Sinek argues that this is important as people are inspired by why you do what you do much Read more..

Persistent Problems and Conventional Thinking

I I have been thinking a lot about projects and project management lately.  Why?  Because effective project delivery is critical to delivering value from IT and as an industry we don’t do a great job of delivering our projects.  We are all aware of the statistics.  Most commentators report that 50% of our projects fail and to make matters worse the larger and more critical a project, the more likely failure is.  Until we change these statistics we will continue to struggle to deliver to our organisations and we will Read more..

Facilitated Governance

| There we were halfway through the workshop with the IT leadership team and our attention shifted to the team’s project delivery performance.  The insight from the executive was very clear.  They saw the IT team as the department of no!  It didn’t matter how good an idea it was IT would find a way to make sure it didn’t get done.  If through some cosmic miracle anything did get done then it was seen as being too little too late.  Slow in the extreme and often what was done Read more..

Is the Internet Safe? Of course not!

| The internet is not 100 percent safe, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using it to support you to take your business forward.  And rather than worrying about all those things that you don’t understand I think you should think of the internet in the same way you think about driving. Think about it, is driving safe?  Of course not.  There you are hurtling down the open road at 100 kph with another vehicle coming straight towards you at the same speed. The only thing between you and Read more..

The Technology Puzzle

For more than a decade now the proportion of organisational technology spend being managed outside of the IT team has grown rapidly.  Most industry analysts reckon that the split in IT spending is nearly 50/50 between IT controlled and spent outside of IT.  There are many reasons offered as to why this move has happened, however it is hard to escape the reality that the underlying cause is that IT teams have not been meeting the perceived needs of the organisation.  Why else would “the business” seek to go around Read more..

Driving Digital Competence

My daughter Sarah has just passed her learner’s driving licence.  It is a very exciting time for her and a somewhat nervous time for myself and her mother.  The day after she passed I took her out for her first ever drive.  I decided that having her actually drive on the road with other cars was a step too far for the first time, so I drove us to the North Shore Events Centre.  There were no events on this day so what we had was a large empty parking Read more..