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Jim is a seasoned professional with over 36 years of experience in learning and development. He holds an MBA in Digital Transformation and an MSc in Learning Technology.

Great ways of implementing

Making more possible together

Today marks a particular day, hence this post on this date. Together with my fellow entrepreneur John May we successfully launched a new Learning and Development platform for our client. Of course, we celebrated today with the whole project team, including all people involved from the supplier. It was an outstanding achievement to implement and launch, as we have worked on this project for more than a year.

What else?

It was not only the implementation of this platform, but it also included a new Governance structure, a new service delivery model for the employees involved, and a load of new Learning and Development programs for the International employees of this organisation.

What was each other’s role?

John and I divided the workload of this implementation. He is way more skilled in IT than I am, so he was in the lead. I took the change and organisational side of this implementation together with the supplier portfolio.

Our cooperation was enjoyable and successful, and I would like to thank him for our collaboration.  Our skills completed each other for the benefit of our client. 

Celebrate Johm & JIm

The Simplicity Sprint

Use the collective brain to innovate

Many companies struggle with Digital Transformation (DT). A critical element of DT is innovation. You may think that doesn’t sound easy to do in my company. It is super simple, as the CEO of Google explained in an article by Nick Hobson last week in the online paper Inc. The numbers of Alfabet (including Google) went slightly down, Google’s productivity is not as per its headcount. To understand why this was the case, the CEO asked all his employees to answer a short survey with three questions:

  1. What would help you work with greater clarity and efficiency to serve our users and customers? 
  2. Where should we remove speed bumps to get better results faster?
  3. How do we eliminate waste and stay entrepreneurial and focused as we grow? 

It is essential to know that innovation does not grow in isolation; bring in all the brains to raise your company’s performance. Simple but genius! The name for this idea? The Simplicity Sprint.

Source file: see this link.

Do you want to read other articles on Digital Transformation? read e.g. the Four steps for Digital Transformation

How to enhance your customer experience

How to create a customer centric culture?

The three elements of customer experience.

I currently work for a client with customer experience (CX) delivered to external clients via a robust framework. It consists of three elements:
  • Marketing: They created the customer journey lifecycle, used personas and segmented their audiences.
  • Clients’ input: They use the voice of the customer to stay relevant and listen to feedback on the always-changing client expectations.
  • Skilled employees bu training and development: they make sure people who are talking to clients get feedback, training and development opportunities and management monitors in a good way the performance of the teams within the client contact centre.
However, this robust framework is ignored if we look at the delivery of services to internal clients, and this surprised me when I researched this for them. We see this represented in company policies, the wording within the internal department’s intranet (lots of jargon or subject slang), and the advisors’ delivery. Why not use the framework to provide your clients with the best possible service and create the Wow factor?

How to create a customer-centric culture?

To create a customer-centric culture, you need to enhance your CX strategy (Soule, et all, 2016). How to do this?
  1. Listen to the users of your service/department and combine this voice of the customer with existing data (Sacolick, 2017) to understand the level of customer satisfaction.
  2. Invest in skills: make sure your team lives and breathes clients and that they know that one size does NOT fit all.
  3. Keep your focus and attention on your client. Wishes and demands change over time; you must stay on top of their needs. One way to do this is to use your staff to talk to clients in person (not via email or phone) and have an actual conversation. When you take time for them, they will open up and share their needs which will prepare you and your team/company for the future.
Resources:
Sacolick, I. (2017). Driving Digital. The leaders guide to business transformation through technology. American Management Association, New York.
Soule, D., L. and Puram, A., Westerman, G., & Bonnet, D., (2016). Becoming a Digital Organization: The Journey to Digital Dexterity (January 5, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2697688.

Do you want to be an conducter?

Do you want to conduct Digital Transformation and lead by example?

I recently completed my Digital Transformation (DT) Sprint , led by Professor Michael Wade from IMD Switzerland.

Digital Transfromation Certificate

This program added knowledge and a different view to my other study, which I received under the leadership of Professor Khaled Wahba. I learned from him how to lead DT. Wahba used the book Leading Digital as general guidance throughout his lectures (Westerman, Bonnet and McAfee). As a small sidestep, both Bonnet and Wade are peers at IMD school.

Do you want to conduct Digital Transfromation and stand in front of your orchestra in order to lead by example? 

According to Wade, to start your organizational journey on DT, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • How should we execute our digital transformation?
  • Where do we start?
    What is the sequencing of actions?
  • And in different areas of the business, what precisely should we change, and to what extent?

At first, it may sound like these are easy questions, but finding the right answers is highly complex and demands joint leadership and teamwork. A complete overview of DT is listed in his paper: Orchestrating Digital Business Transformation, which can be downloaded here . As an alternative, you can sign up for the Digital Sprint module at IMD, which starts in June 2022, see this link.

I can highly recommend this investment for this online module in case you want to broaden your knowledge on this topic. It is a very engaging two week program in classses of about 40 people from around the world.

Do connect with me at info@jignite.com if you seek an independent consultant to support you and your organization in your DT journey.

Resources:

Leading Digital; Westerman, G., Bonnet, D., and McAfee, A., 2014 (Harvard Business Review Press, Boston).

Hacking Digital; Wade, M., Bonnet, D. Yokoi, T., Obwegeser, N., 2022 (McGraw Hill, NY,  USA).

Other related articles:

Four important steps for Digital Transformation

Industrial Internet of Things a big win for manufacturing companies?

Give a Litle Bit

Give a litle bit

The title is obviously from the 1977 song from the band Supertramp.

The song appeals to me as I am now at the age to give back my experiences and see if I can support younger people with their careers. Of course, I did this with my sons, but I do it also to students from IE University and sometimes others.

Let me share a short story with you. The title is obviously from the 1977 song from the band Supertramp. The song appeals to me as I am at the age to give back my experience and see if I can support younger people with their careers. Of course, I did this with my sons, but I also helped students from IE University and others. Let me share a short story with you about one of the others”.

I published an assignment on freelance.nl for a graphic designer job. I received about 20 applicants and selected three designers based on their published portfolios. I had zoom sessions with all three, and I noticed a lady from Syria who was two years in the Netherlands. I was impressed by her work and her Dutch skills, which she learned in a concise amount of time. Of course, she made some grammar mistakes and other minor pronunciation imperfections (who does not make mistakes in Dutch grammar), but she impressed me with her perseverance and work ethic.

I decided to give her another task as I wanted her to build confidence in doing business with the Dutch and stimulate building her own business. I asked her to create a business video for me and a folder for client offers. I list the video and a picture of the folder in this post for you to see. I was happy with the result she provided to me quickly.

Society is changing, and people get more isolated due to Covid19; conflict seems to occur quicker, but make sure that your glass stays half full. Please keep an open and optimistic view of life, be emphatic, and support people who can use it.

“Now’s the time that we need to share. So find yourself; we’re on our way back home”.

What a Difference a Year Makes

What A Difference A Day Make

Year-end update Jignite

There is a song by Dinah Washington titled:” What a Difference a Day makes”. I took the liberty to change the title into “What A difference a Year Makes“. The song has a true Christmas rhythm. You can read the post and at the same time listen to Dinah here.

When I reflect on 2020, I noticed that I had a challenging but also exciting year. The COVID epidemic made it for everyone difficult so I will not touch this here. When I left this February my previous company and founded Jignite, I had not thought about the many new challenges I would face. These challenges were different than before as I was predicting my own future, I sat in the driver seat myself. I decided to invest or to divest; I decided to do a project or not.  Fortunately, I have an extensive network, and from that network, I received my first assignment with a Dutch bank. This project took six months, and after that, I transitioned to another project at a Dutch pension fund. This project is scheduled to last to March next year. So, I am lucky to have worked continuously in 2020. In the time I had left I also network to meet other founders, interim managers, specialists, etc. It is great to see how many people work in Learning, Development, Change and Leadership. Sometimes, however, you meet exceptional people. And the chemistry is so evident that you seek opportunities to work together.

Partnerships

Today I visited the founder of Denova, and we decided to work together on projects of shared interest. We keep our companies separated but established an excellent relationship. DeNova  is specialized in assessments, coaching and learning. It is a group of psychologists and learning specialists, and we will start in 2022 with some projects together. I am thrilled about this initiative

Another exciting item is that I joined earlier this year the Advisory Board of Merit. Merit summit is an initiative for corporate and L&D leadership, launched in 2016. My role as advisor in this fantastic network gives me access to many specialists and universities for which I hope to make a substantial contribution.

So, as you can read, I am alive and kicking and looking forward to exploring 2022. A big thank you to all my clients, supporters, and family.

If it is only half as good as this year, I will be a lucky man. Stay well and safe, have lovely Holidays and a prosperous 2022.

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