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Tell me who you’re going with and I’ll tell you how you’ll go digital

Industrial reconversion towards digital: business development with the available resources, in a reasonable time

There are different reasons why a manager starts his process of industrial reconversion towards digital:  the need to reduce costs, the search for new sources of income, the redesign of processes,  changes in the business model, the construction of public opinion on the net… But, almost always, the trigger is someone who manages to impress our manager with his message and his examples: A person who convinces him. Someone who explains it properly. Sometimes it is his son, who explains to him at home what he has seen or done on the Internet and other times, it is a colleague who is achieving good results. Whoever it is, there are  five basic categories to distinguish that personand depending on which of them he stumbles upon, our manager will be digitized in one way or another.

The first are the visionaries. His message is characterized by announcing the arrival of a radical and disruptive change that will shake the world, modify known business models and cause profound changes that are difficult to foresee. Within this group, there are those who opt for a catastrophic message: (“companies will disappear”), neutral (“nothing will be the same”) or optimistic (“digital is beautiful and better, hallelujah!”). In general, the visionaries explain that we are in a time of networks, that the change is social and structural and that all this will affect all the sectors. They are right, absolutely right. They shake and enlighten our manager, but they don’t tell him what to do. He is restless, worried and with the feeling that he is not prepared for what is coming.

Then there are those who say it’s all about style. That now what it is time to collaborate, cooperate, co-create, co-think, co-live and co-everything  That zen is achieved when you share information, that the healthiest thing is to participate in the conversation and live in dialogue. That the exchange of opinions is the best way to learn and advance. That now the processes are no longer top-down, but bottom-up. It is the usual speech in environments close to the field of human resources, team management and organizational development. And they are right. All right.

The third parties, without this responding to any order, are the ones who tell you about the tools. They are the ones who believe that being digitized is knowing how to publish a video on YouTube and they spend a lot of time convincing you that when you open your blog you do it in WordPress rather than in Blogger. It seems unbelievable that you don’t use wikis at work. They are the kings of the gadget, they know all the programs, apps and utilities you can imagine and they know that the world will be mobile. And they take out their smartphone to prove it to you. It’s easy for them to work, or have worked, in the IT department. And they are right. All right.

And then there are those that are based on the method. They are detected because sooner or later they end up talking about “change management” and they tend to label the processes with words in English that later turn out to mean the same thing that we have almost always done, such as Crowdsourcing or Community Manager. Until now they used to come from business schools, but lately it is enough to buy a management book at the airport (they are next to the self-help ones). Among the employees they are quickly detected and the expression used is “ Damn, it seems that the boss has read a book: there will be changes”.  Jokes aside, it is also true that there are new ways of doing things. And they are right. All right.

And finally comes the  fifth guy . The one that only talks about results. And that they exist, is the demonstration that all this is serious and is already mature. He is the key person you should listen to. You will recognize it because when he talks about results he uses the same metric as you (units sold, increase in billing, number of clients) instead of vague concepts such as page views, number of followers or if you are a trending topic. You will recognize it because when he talks about goals he is interested in how your earnings are calculated, instead of just talking about your reputation in the network.

In short, it tells you about how digital helps you develop your business, with the resources you have available, in a reasonable time and with market indicators. But despite having a certain bias,  all of the above are right. All right. To achieve results, the digital manager must understand that a vision is needed, that the style has changed, that methods must be adapted, that tools must be incorporated. But always with the results in the spotlight.

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