On the 20th of September, we hosted a brand new Digital Wake Up event in the Radisson RED in Glasgow. Delighted with the turnout, we were talking all things Digital Transformation with our speakers Steve Plummer (After Digital) and Neil Richardson OBE QPM (CEO of Turning Point Scotland)!
On the morning of the 20th, we were battling the after-effects of Storm Ali, which appears to be a running theme as during our last Digital Wake Up event we were dealing with the Beast from the East! However, many eager attendees made it to the Radisson RED, safe and sound.
The event started with coffee, tea, breakfast nibbles and networking at 8 am before we dove into the speaker sessions. As our Head of Strategy, Steve has had a lot of experience working with our clients to help them identify changes and make them, in order to begin their Digital Transformation process. He has worked recently with clients like Affinity for Business, National Theatre of Scotland and, the charity of our other speaker, Turning Point Scotland. At our Wake Up, he discussed the importance of digital transformation and how it can alter and shape a company. Going through key points, Steve taught the audience how to identify what step in the process they were currently at, why they should be working on their own digital evolution, what those considering this process should take into account and why companies shouldn’t mistake change for transformation.
Having undergone their own Digital Transformation with us, Neil Richardson gave excellent insight into the process. During our Digital Transformation work with Turning Point Scotland (TPS), we managed to identify and develop 7 main workstreams, write 10 appendices and create a 200-page roadmap in order to aid them in their Digital Transformation journey. TPS is a high-quality service provider to those living with disabilities, addictions, homelessness and autism; to name a few. Due to austerity and budget-driven change, the third sector is often behind other sectors when it comes to Digital Transformation, so the team at TPS knew that they needed assistance, specific skills and expert knowledge to inform appropriate strategic, digital decisions. They began working with us at After Digital. You can find out more about our work with TPS in their case study HERE.
During his session, Neil discussed how digital transformation is more of a mental process than that of a technological one and why everyone in the team should be involved in a fully inclusive movement, company-wide; as opposed to exclusionary change based on a singular view. He also discussed how he made the digital transformation a core pillar of the overarching Organisational Strategy which allows all of the interdependencies to be allowed for, reminding everyone that the digital transformation is happening all around. You either have it done to you, or by you.
After the sessions, we opened up the floor and moved onto a Q&A session, where Steve and Neil answered the questions of our attendees. Upon being asked how much of a cultural shift had to happen before TPS engaged a third party for their Digital Transformation, Neil said:
“There was a little bit of a lead-up but just enough to identify that we needed help. Calls, emails and focus groups happened first, then After Digital was selected to accelerate this. After Digital was then integrated into the conversations about our cultural shift as digital is at the heart of everything they needed to do.”
- Neil Richardson
The audience went on to ask how far the digital plan stretched down to the people who connect with TPS’s service. He said:
“Being people-centred is key within the non-profit sector. We felt this was so embedded that it was reasonable to move on to the next iteration. We have a group called ‘TPS Connect’, made up of staff and service users, who are used to consult and advise on changes. We operate on users needs first to bring about an impact. Service users were involved in workshops. However, the addiction group were concerned that digital would get in the way of the person to person contact of the service. This made both us and After Digital realise that digital should only be used where applicable. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!”
- Neil Richardson
It is true that digital must be in-sync with the world around your organisation otherwise it will have a limit. You cannot only focus on the internal requirements of digital transformation, but you also have to be aware of the external too. An initial ‘quick win’ for TPS was installing screens in their meeting and training rooms to create a more digital aspect to these processes. This resulted in these rooms being booked out for the year. They also wanted to create more proactivity and a strategic need within their staff, they are about to begin a ‘Crowdicity’ pilot (‘Crowdicity’ is an idea management software that allows teams to collaborate across departments with powerful tools and features) and are encouraging their teams to make progressive suggestions for the charity.
When asked how he would approach a business to get started with digital transformation; since Neil and TPS were already bought into the idea, Steve said:
“It doesn’t matter which sector, ultimately it is human beings, it is finding a way to take away all the clutter and find ways to get people to resonate. Draw out imperatives to the projects and identify the key digital opportunities for that particular organisation; this will likely make a few pennies drop.”
- Steve Plummer
Neil added to this point by discussing the importance of culture within digital transformation, saying that in a previous role he was responsible for pulling nine organisations together, however, he was quickly drawn off course from his aim to focus on culture. Problems then arose because the culture was not at the centre of every decision. Conversely, during the digital transformation process with After Digital, TPS ensured that they were not blown off course, culture stayed the focus.
Keeping the focus during Digital Transformation sessions is key for engagement with the process and the success of it. For example, when After Digital was working with National Theatre of Scotland (NTS), Steve organised a round of workshops covering topics as diverse as marketing, data, augmented and virtual reality applications in theatre, and digital skills’ analysis. You can check out the Digital Transformation case study for NTS HERE.
An important thing to note about the digital transformation process is that it is an evolution, not an endpoint. When speaking about the results, post-session, Neil said he is able to report improvements in communication, progress in financial reward and recognition of their staff, as well as giving these staff members a voice when it comes to the organisation. He said: “This has been manageable in a very short period of time.”
If you want to find out more about our processes for Digital Strategy & Transformation, you can head over on to the right section on our website, alternatively, you can get in touch with us through the form at the bottom of this page.
We’d like to thank all the attendees, and Steve and Neil, for giving up their morning to come along to our Digital Wake Up. Keep your eyes peeled for our next event, it should be coming very soon...