Using Digital Growth to Innovate

We’ve been amazed at the feedback we’ve received from participants who say they’ve walked away with valuable “nuggets” of information they can use to drive critical business objectives.

Over the last few months, we’ve had the opportunity to engage a variety of customers and partners in Digital Growth working sessions. It’s been amazing seeing a concept grow into something that is actually valuable. The feedback has been outstanding. Every single person who has participated says they’ve walked away with at least a “nugget” or two which will help drive critical business objectives.

The interesting part of this experiment has been the observations we’ve made that we did not expect. And while our data set is still small, I think we can make some assumptions that we’ve seen across all of the sessions thus far.

The Digital Growth Method

Just to make sure you have an understanding of the process, Digital Growth, is built upon 6 parts:

  • State the objective
  • Define the metrics (Digital Value)
  • Hypothesize actions which could improve the metrics
  • Prioritize actions based on highest perceived impact and lowest effort or cost
  • Create accountability
  • Set a Schedule
  • (Optional) Discuss habits that need to change

Teams Aren’t Talking Strategically

Strategy and execution are built into our DNA so it’s been a real eye opener to us that organizations are not taking the steps to get in the same room and have the conversations we’re conducting. Many times in these sessions we are hearing phrases like, “we are starting to do it, but we haven’t discussed a plan” or “I’m so glad you’re here [teammate] because we haven’t had a chance to meet about this.”

By the time we get into the 3rd step of the process, it begins to be clear that most teams know what they’re trying to achieve and have tactics that could improve them, but when you’re faced with a distinct measurement you need to improve upon the mindset changes.

For example, if the KPI is “Number of blog posts published per Month” and they’re currently doing 1 a quarter. The team has to really think about how they’re going to execute against this metric. And it’s clear that they have thrown out the proclamation, “WE NEED TO BLOG MORE!!” prior to our session, but the strategy has not been discussed. Or, there’s a champion that isn’t getting the buy-in they need.

IT People Enjoy Being in Marketing Discussions

This is not something new to me, actually… I’m a programmer that loves talking about ways to use technology in our industry. I didn’t really have a path for being a technologist until I started working at an advertising agency. Many times Marketing and Creative are collaborating to think about the message, channel, and personas but rarely are they proposing ways to use tech to get them out. When you’re looking to improve hard metrics, there’s usually an opportunity to find new tools to integrate that can measure and improve them. I won’t limit this to just IT people… The more diversity in roles and responsibilities in the room the better.

Accountability Cannot be Shared

I don’t believe this should be a shocker, but I’ve been a part of enough leadership teams to know that when you have 2 or more people accountable for an initiative the likelihood that it gets accomplished declines.


via GIPHY

In mathematical terms it would be:

P = 1 / n;

Where P = Progress and n = number of accountable people (I like math).

We’ve found that if you do not make your goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) and one person on the team is accountable (not responsible) for the initiative that those are the “positive forces” most likely to not be accomplished in the plan. In our Digital Growth sessions, it’s been hard to get buy-in on this from the teams. And we’ve made exceptions, and been proven that what we believe is true.

A Work in Progress

I know we have a lot to learn about how Digital Growth can be applied most effectively for our participants. It is still in the very early stages and we’re doing our own experiments to see what works and what doesn’t. I do know that, thus far, each session we have has only reinforced the value of the method.

We’re always looking for guinea pigs — please contact us to schedule a Digital Growth Session.

Download: Digital Growth Worksheet
What gets measured gets done. Download the Digital Growth Engine Worksheet today, rally your team, and create results!
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