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The new mindset leaders need in the digital-fast era2

The digital-first era that we are living in has changed two major elements of the customer experience: proximity and speed. The distance between customer and brand has been reduced to a matter of pixels and immediacy is the only time frame customers are willing to accept. This has transformed how companies connect with their customers and reframes how business leaders determine strategies to deliver new customer experiences.

Digital transformation is the umbrella term leaders encounter, but what exactly does it mean? It’s really an exercise in aligning your people, playbook and platform to create the best customer experiences at the pace they expect.

While digital transformation is the concept of the day, for it to stick, it must be accompanied by cultural transformation. This requires leaders to start with their people, evolve the way they view their work, and give them permission to develop new, sometimes untested, strategies to engage customers. Without this shift in mindset, digital playbooks and platforms cannot be activated to their full potential.


4 ways digital leader can adopt the builder ethos

1. Start with the customer and work backwards

Going back to the physical building analogy, those involved have different functions but are singularly motivated to create a structure that is right for the way the people in that building live and work. To build meaningful digital experiences, companies need to start with what their customers want, not what the company has to offer. A builders’ time is valuable and great teams make sure that the time they invest will be useful and worthwhile.

2. Encourage teams to be generative

The pace of change in this era means that a single idea, even if it is successful today, might not work tomorrow. To stay ahead of the curve, companies must increase variance, try different things and plan on delivering more versions in a shorter period of time. This requires a culture of ideation. Leaders should learn how to identify and cultivate builders within their organization who produce new ideas and have the ambition to bring them to life.

Download Checklist: Identify, attract and retain digital builders

3. Be hypothesis driven

To be productively generative, digital teams need to have a hypothesis for each idea they build and deploy. Digital leaders must encourage their teams to articulate why each idea is a good one and then determine the best way to quickly test that hypothesis. The goal is not to have a few big ideas, but to launch as many ideas as possible and make them great through iteration or cut losses quickly.

4. Increase your risk tolerance

Finally, hypothesis-driven, generative digital leaders need to be risk tolerant. Not everything is going to work out. This sounds like failure. However, the key to the builder ethos is to fail small and fast and understand that failure provides a critical data stream for future success. A risk-averse approach limits experimentation and, in turn, limits customer-generated information digital teams can use to refine and improve.

This brings us back to starting with the customer. The best experiences are dialogues with customers. These conversations allow digital teams to launch digital products at scale, interpret customers’ responses, iterate based on those responses and relaunch. Each interaction brings teams closer to providing customers with exactly what they want.

Customers have already welcomed the speed and proximity of the digital world with open arms. By adopting the builder ethos, digital leaders can empower their people to create the digital experiences customers desire at the speed they expect.

Download white paper: How to deliver digital experiences at the speed of opportunity