It’s always interesting when you enter into massive organziations and begin to look at how big brands interact with the ever changing world of digital. Especially when the organization has a complex structure and IT systems that can make digital strategy easier said than done.
I heard an interesting and salient point from someone the other day, that I think really impacts the way that digital people often approach new landscapes and roles. Myself included!
We are often able to come into new environments and quickly “detect” what is “wrong”, or which “process” needs to be implemented/improved, or where there are huge “gaps”. I put those in quotes because our wonderful changes today are also the major pain points for those that come into replace us tomorrow. The situation we enter today, was also once someone’s solution for some other issue they were trying to solve yesterday.
Often times, we bring in processes, ideas and stop gaps that are not net new, but borrowed from previous places. This doesn’t make us innovative ( A word that digital people love to associate with themselves). Every new company that you enter will provide you a new digital landscape that you are facing. This can be something as basic as not having an environment where everyone is working from the same operating system and know very little about digial at all, to incredibly forward thinking places where you feel inadequate because you don’t seem to be on the pulse as much as everyone else is.
When I first began at Rogers media, I felt so inadequate. I joined their digital team, and as a communications person I had very basic understandings of technology. In my almost 3 year tenure, I learned so much and at such a quick pace that I was often the only person in many scenarios who had either encountered, heard about, solved through some abstract digital strategy or solution. In my new role, I am super savvy in an environment that works on antiquated platforms that have limited technological capabilities for core things like search and analytics.
What I am learning every day, is that it has less to do with how forward thinking and innovative I believe I am – but more so in understanding the culture and environment and determining what digital strategies make the most sense based on the technologies I am working with. Part of my role involves pushing forward and challenging my team to think outside the box including being current with technology. However, driving the company into a digital direction that I have seen before may not be the answer that complex matrix type organizations with strong history and culture need. What is needed is a lot of observation and finding technology solves that can marry old with new allowing for a smoother and more unique transitioning of those landscapes.