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What's on the mind of the Digital Strategist?

I have been asked many times if strategy development, implementation and monitoring change in the digital world. And no one put it better in a sentence than Brian Solis:

“We live in an era of digital Darwinism.As technology & society evolve,organizations should also evolve their business models”

So let me give you my view:

  • First, the mind of the strategist will need to change with the digitalisation journey as it will be more about the organisation and the digital consumer rather than technology itself.

  • Second, as Kenichi Ohmae neatly puts it: "The job of the strategist is to achieve superior performance in the key factors for success of the business." And now, the digital consumer is the success of the business!

  • Third, the strategist should have objective & flexible digital thinking, i.e. the strategist should understand that the digital consumer lives in both a physical (which is a bit closed and has boundaries) as well as virtual world where it is open and boundry-less. The strategists should understand the full range of alternatives that lay in front of them, the digital personas they are trying to target (details of digital personas are mentioned in my previous blog) and constantly weigh the costs and benefits of each one, to respond flexibly to the changes and demands of the digital consumer.

  • Fourth, the strategist should not fall for the perils of perfectionism. The true importance is timing when the strategy should be put in place to provide the highest value add to the business. Perfect strategy is never the only answer.

  • Fifth, the strategist should always keep the details in perspective. The mind of the strategist should be excellent in big data analytics (which I covered in my previous blog) & understanding the details and refining the available information and details to come up with the best solution for the company and the consumers.

  • And last but not least, challenging the constraints. At the start of working out a strategic activity, if the strategist starts by thinking of all the things that cannot be done, the strategist will never achieve the goal expected. Therefore, the strategist should start by imagining that they have a Greenfield area (ideal state) and develop the strategic view from there. Then the strategist can concentrate on how to remove any obstacles/constraints and achieve high-value results.

The above are not the sole characteristics of a strategist but some that hopefully trigger your thoughts on the strategic area of your enterprise and the characteristics that need to be built on or flourish.

For next 100 days, try to evolve your strategy department or strategists from moving into digital thinking and keeping the right level of details however avoiding perfectionism.


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