Building Digital Culture: A Practical Guide to Successful Digital Transformation wants business owners to stop playing with the concept of “going digital” or “innovative”. “Going digital” isn’t creating a website, creating a social media account or using an iPad. These are aspects — albeit tiny — of a digital culture, but the concept of “digital culture” is much deeper than the way the term is used. Digital culture in this book is more revolutionary and powerful than anything that you have ever seen in business.
What is Building Digital Culture About?
“The company that you toil and work so hard to make succeed is statistically unlikely to exist in a decade.”
— Building Digital Culture: A Practical Guide to Successful Digital Transformation
Building Digital Culture presents a very strong statement to business owners: Build a truly innovative business culture now or watch your business die. Why you might ask? Most modern businesses don’t cultivate an environment that fosters agility, experimentation and creativity. Instead, they maintain business processes built on the assumption that their future will remain pretty much the same.
Enter any number of businesses: Netflix, Google, Amazon, PayPal, Uber and others that have leveraged technology to not only steal the business from under their competitors’ noses but also radically define what a business can do.
That is the key point that Building Digital Culture doesn’t want readers to miss. You can’t predict the future like you did in the past because technology is evolving faster than anyone could ever predict. It’s not growing in a predictable linear fashion. It’s growing exponentially. This makes it hard for businesses that take a “wait and see” approach to technology and makes it more likely than ever they will get left behind.
Leveraging the technology requires a culture most businesses have not adopted wholeheartedly, the authors say. While they may praise “innovation”, most actually reinforce a culture that is just the opposite with silos, fragmentation, ineffective employee training, low tolerance for experimentation and painfully slow recruiting practices. These practices reinforce “business as usual” and essentially lure them into a temporary but fatal cycle of success. What these businesses don’t see is the unstable footing caused by this success. The more invested they become in maintaining their own success, the less able they are to innovate when something disruptive (like removing late fees for video returns) happens.
Author Daniel Rowles is an industry expert in the field of digital marketing. He is CEO and Lead Trainer of Target Internet, a digital marketing and training business, and Course Director at the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Rowles is the host of the Digital Marketing Podcast in addition to writing several books on digital marketing and helping businesses such as Mercedes, L’ Oreal, and Warner Brothers.
Co-author Thomas Brown is the former director of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and current senior consultant at Isherwood and Company and executive advisor at ThinkStuff.
What Was Best About Building Digital Culture?
Building Digital Culture contains probably, hands down, the most focused discussion of “going digital” you will probably ever find in a book on the future of business. The book continually reinforces several points that demystify the vagueness of “going digital”. First, the book debunks the myth that “going digital” is all about “the next big thing”. It’s about the culture and thinking process, no matter your budget. Second, it emphasizes why digital innovation is so important now rather than later for every business, not just a select few.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Building Digital Culture deserves credit for taking a lot of the vagueness out of digital marketing and innovation and bringing them back down into the realm of everyday mortals. One area that could use a little more attention is the chapter on measurement. While the book praises the idea of a single dashboard for all significant metrics, it doesn’t go into a lot of detail (or provide any examples) of how this might look. More detail here could help businesses (of which there are many) who are swimming in data while only utilizing a tiny portion of it.
Why Read Building Digital Culture?
Building Digital Culture is best for business owners who are a little concerned about the uncertain future of their industry and the rather confusing advice on how to respond. The book provides clear-headed advice, complete with strategies for cultural transformation and refinement of business processes. Building Digital Culture helps readers understand how this bold and uncharted new world of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data and everything else ties into a business’s bottom line over the long-term rather than the short-term. This kind of information is extremely helpful for business owners who understand that “digital” is more than a trend or buzzword but don’t know how to turn that knowledge into reality. Building Digital Culture is a massive leap forward in business thinking, in that regard.