At its core digital has empowered consumers and businesses in parallel. However, there is a larger divide emerging between consumer expectations and a capacity to meet these evolving expectations. The bar for consumer or customer experience (CX) is constantly being raised, with outcomes always measured by what’s considered the latest benchmark—essentially the best becomes normalized and expectations follow1.
For better or worse, technology has set the pace that consumer expectations evolve; consumers want new now. Unfortunately, design and business have been slow to change; technology has sped far beyond what design alone can offer. Nothing that design can say or do has any sway on what happens with technology2. How do organizations innovate in an era where the hot next feature or new technology is right around the corner every 6–12 months, or sooner? Innovation is expensive, and it’s time-consuming to develop new technology, start a business, develop new services, or deliver products, let alone work within an agile business process. Couple this with uncertainty, and you have a blueprint for a risk machine. Fortunately, the last few decades have seen a significant amount of progress in the development of tools to meet this uncertain challenge, and it’s a holistic framework that combines business intelligence, research methods, and design thinking.
Innovate the process or the culture, not the technology
When Digital Transformation was of the moment, optimism was plentiful, unrealistic expectations overflowed. However, much of the excitement, was around the technology, as opposed to the transformation needed by organizations1. The outcome of this was a lot of failed initiatives that never made it to market, or friction inducing shifts that threaten organizational culture. Alternatively, more astute organizations that Didier Bonnet defines as digital masters enjoyed significantly better financial performance than non-masters. They accomplished this by nurturing a vision that embedded digital, fostered collaboration, and diversified multiple revenue-generating initiatives1.