Innovation Junkies Podcast

2.33 Digital Readiness: Benchmarks and Best Practices to Guide Your Business

The Jeffs are back for part two of their Digital Readiness discussion. They talk about the importance of measuring your business against digital readiness best-practices, leveraging technologies to impact the future of your organization, and incorporating digital technologies into all aspects of your operations.

Jeff Standridge (Intro):

Are you ready to change the trajectory of your business and see massive improvements? Each week we’ll share strategies and practices to generate sustained results and long lasting success in your organization. Welcome to the Innovation Junkies Podcast. 

Jeff Standridge:

Hey, guys, welcome to another episode of the Innovation Junkies Podcast. I’m Jeff Standridge.

Jeff Amerine:

This is Jeff Amerine. What are we going to talk about today, Jeff?

Jeff Standridge:

Hey, we’re going to wrap up our discussion on digital readiness.

Jeff Amerine:

Well, let’s you know, we spend a lot of time with the GrowthDX tool, having the six domains. And I know we’ve got some pretty interesting stuff as it relates to benchmarks and best practices. Talk a little bit about how the GrowthDX tool looks at that domain.

Jeff Standridge:

Yeah. So we’ll wrap up at the end and just remind everyone of the six domains that are part of the GrowthDX that we have broken down over the course of the last several episodes and talked about each of those domains in detail. Our final domain is digital readiness. We talked a little bit about that last episode. And what we’re really looking at here in all of the domains is as a number of best practices and and actually having the senior most leaders in an organization to assess that organization against the degree to which they demonstrate those best practices in each of the domains. Six of them, as we said, and each of them has about 8 to 10, maybe 12 best practices. And I walk through kind of some examples of some of the best practices as it relates to digital readiness. 

The first is that the organization has a clear understanding of how digital technologies will transform their particular industry in both the short and the longer terms. So they’ve actually done the homework to look out and to see what’s happening on the landscape of their particular industry, what technologies are coming down the pike, what data capabilities are coming down the pike, and how can they leverage those to implement, to impact their organization going forward.

And that’s kind of the second half of that, is they’ve then developed a clear and compelling vision about how they’re going to take those products and services and capabilities and integrate them into their respective organizations to fulfill that vision. Some of the other best practices is they leverage digital technologies to differentiate their products and services, to improve their channel or customer engagement practices, they incorporate digital technologies into all aspects of their operations, their actual delivery of products and services to their clients, and they make sure that they’re getting a significant return on those investments.

That’s something that is not really focused on a lot. It’s maybe used in the sales process to make a decision about whether to buy a technology, but it’s not really used on the back end. So much to say, did we actually get out of it what we planned for? And is that investment returning what we had hoped it would return.

There are some others like we understand what data drives value for our business and we extensively use data analytics to guide our decision making. We’ve translated our digital goals into actual IT investments and we’re actually chipping away at those investments based upon that landscape, that vision, the gaps and how we’re trying to get there. We move our digital initiatives, so if we take kind of experimentations of digital capabilities, we actually move those down the process to after we analyze them, to either kill them or implement them and make them kind of general availability, so to speak. And probably one of the ones that particularly in smaller companies, a best practice that may not actually be common, but it is in much of the larger companies is that they have a specific team dedicated with very clear responsibilities for stimulating digital initiatives and managing their risks associated with those digital initiatives.

So those are, I don’t know, seven or eight of the ten or 12 that we actually assess through the GrowthDX.

Jeff Amerine:

And all of these things are intended to, I mean you boil it down to it will either help you gain some competitive advantage or it will keep you from being at a competitive disadvantage because because all the enterprises out there are trying to figure out and are in the process of implementing digital in one way or another, there’s no escaping it.

And you resist the temptation to head down this path at your own peril because someone else will figure out how to implement it and they’ll drive revenues or they’ll decrease costs or some way they’ll improve productivity.

Jeff Standridge:

Yeah. So really, if we take a look at organizations and if they’re if you’ve got an organization that’s out there listening today or a leader of an organization, you’re trying to figure out where do you get started with digital transformation or digital readiness? You know, first of all would be to give us a shout. We’d love to have you go through the GrowthDX.

But then secondly, start taking a look at each of your functions. You’ve got your sales function, your marketing function, your operations function, your technology function, your finance function, your HR function. Those are some of the critical functions within the organization. Look at where the bottlenecks are. Look at where you have an extreme amount of human resources actually carrying out the work and and take a look at your current state, that would be your current state. Look at the landscape, look at other organizations, benchmark some of those other organizations. Look at the technology that’s on the landscape out there that’s coming down the pike for each of those respective functions and then do a gap analysis and start looking at where can you get the biggest bang for your buck for the investments that you would have to make to actually move down that digital readiness path.

Jeff Amerine:

Yeah, it makes perfect sense. And it’s a that’s a big part of it. That is the sixth domain that we consider that talks about how all of these pieces fit together, you know, the model and as it relates to our solution stack.

Jeff Standridge:

Sure. So, the GrowthDX. So we like to use the GrowthDX as the starting point for our engagements with our clients. We have clients who come to us and they say, I need some help with sales and marketing or I need some help with the leadership development or I need some innovation work or or we need to really implement a strategic growth system.

And we can certainly do that. And if they demand that we plug in there, that’s certainly what we will do. But kind of like a parent who steps into a pediatrician’s office and says, my child has green stuff coming out his ears and knows he needs an antibiotic, a good pediatrician will say, you know, you may be exactly right and I can certainly do that. But how about we back up? Let me run a few tests. Let me do a few assessments and let me see what’s actually going on here. That’s what we like to do with our GrowthDX and that’s the one that’s the reason that it was created. And so the GrowthDX is a best practices assessment that’s taken by the top 6 to 10, 7 to 10 leaders within a company.

It can be as many as you want, but you really need to have a critical mass of at least 3 to 5. Usually it’s in that seven to 10 to 12 range and they basically assess the organization’s, the organizational practices, what’s actually going on in the organization against a set of best practices across the six domains of revenue velocity, which is the the efficiency and the effectiveness of the sales, marketing and client messaging efforts of the organization.

Organizational effectiveness, which is the clarity and focus around the organizational plan for achieving sustained strategic growth. To what degree do you actually have a strategic growth system in place? Operational effectiveness, the structure and processes that enable you to execute consistently and effectively in delivering the product services and value that you deliver to your clients. Leadership effectiveness. The climate your leader set across the organization in order to establish trust based high performance relationships and a high performance culture. Innovation readiness, which we just talked about most recently. The degree to which your organization has a thoughtful and deliberate approach to applying innovation to the actual business. And digital readiness, which we’re wrapping up today, is the degree to which your organization has planned for and taken action to address the opportunity is that data and digital technologies can bring to your organization in order to enable sustained strategic growth.

Those are the six domains revenue velocity, organizational effectiveness, operational effectiveness, leadership effectiveness, innovation readiness, digital readiness. We’d love for any of our listeners out there who want to take the GrowthDX to give us a shout, and we’d be glad to talk you through that.

Jeff Amerine:

And they can reach out to us and find us on or attract you on all the various social media as well. We look forward to it.

Jeff Standridge:

Yep, very good. So we’re looking forward to coming back with some new episodes in the not too distant future. Thank you for joining. This has been another episode of the Innovation Junkies Podcast.

Jeff Amerine:

See you soon.

Jeff Amerine (Outro):

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