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Birgit Gjøl Nielsen: Leadership challenges in digital projects

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How can you utilize the leadership parameter as a critical factor for success in digital projects?

Good leadership is generally important but perhaps the digital discipline requires an extra leadership perspective due to the nature of the area?

When you work on a specific digital project, how can you secure that an inspiring direction is set that leverages the potentials of your organization and on the other hand, how can you manage the key pitfalls?

- How can you inspire decision makers to support your project?
- How can you create the solid strategic foundation that matches the nature of a fast-paced discipline?
- How can you reach an agreement, when several decision makers are involved?
- How can you lead upwards and downwards in your organization and identify and act upon your own and others' competency levels?
- How can you nurture the organizational involvement in your project without compromising the project team’s ability to create optimal solutions?
- How can you deal with an organization, which is mostly interested in what they want to communicate about themselves and their products and how to refocus and to seed and grow a user centric focus?

In essence a long list of change management issues.

This session will reflect on these questions around the leadership parameter in digital projects and it will mainly be from a practical perspective exemplified through a digital strategy and a major web project at DGI (a major Danish sports association).

As a participant in this session, you will not get a handout with all the answers to these questions but instead you will get examples of how these issues can be coped with.

During the session, there will also be opportunity to investigate the collective knowledge base among the participants in the room in order to share examples of successful digital leadership.

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Birgit Gjøl Nielsen: Leadership challenges in digital projects

  1. 1. Strategic Leadership – Digital Medias J. Boye Conference – November 4th 2015 Birgit Gjøl Nielsen, DGI, Marketing and Communication Executive
  2. 2.  1,5 million members  Sports association where 6.300 local sports clubs are organized  106.000 volunteers – leaders, trainers and instructors  Focus on ‘sports for all’ (in contrast to elite sports)  Non-profit DGI in short
  3. 3. Leadership as a critical factor
  4. 4. Research shows:  Companies that excel in digital leadership and build digital capabilities are 26% more profitable than their industry peers  Successful digital transformation starts at the top of the company Why focus on digital leadership Source: Leading Digital, George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, Andrew McAfee
  5. 5. Leadership: Figuring out where to go and to enlist the people and groups necessary to get there Management: Figuring out how to get there – and the ability to plan, organize and coordinate Difference between leadership and management
  6. 6. Leadership vs management The leader The manager Develops Maintains Focuses on people Focuses on systems and structure Inspires trust Relies on control Has a long-range perspective Has a short-range view Asks what and why Asks how and when Has eye on the horizon Has eye on the bottom line Originates Imitates Challenges the status quo Accepts the status quo Is his or her own person Is the classic good soldier Does the right thing Does things right Inspired by: “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management” by Alan Murray
  7. 7. Set an inspiring direction that leverages the potentials of your organization
  8. 8. Be customer-centric
  9. 9. Digital strategy is all about the user experience Customer-centric digital strategy User needs Business needs User experience One user journey = one brand experience
  10. 10. How the user journey and the brand experience has changed on dgi.dk Previously: A fragmented user journey – a multiple brand experience Today: One user journey = one brand experience
  11. 11. Customer-centric digital strategy RelevantBla Bla Bla Bla What we want to say What they want to hear Zzz Zzz Zzz Zzz
  12. 12. The primary strategy X X X X X X X X X X The digital strategy #1 Lighthouse #2 Lighthouse #3 Lighthouse #4 Lighthouse 201520162017 X The vision
  13. 13. Identifying the sports practioners target groups: Typology 1 The community traditionalist Typology 2 The competition oriented Typology 4 The individualist Typology 3 The lifestyle performer Typology 4 The skeptic
  14. 14.  Ambition: Customer centric and adaptive  Organization: Agile and in a change modus  Strategy: Clear long-term direction that embrace perpetual change and agility to make short-term learnings  Culture: From push to pull  Brand: Walk the talk  Solution: Focus on user needs and “business” – not on technology – MVS – Minimum Viable Solution Approach to the new dgi.dk
  15. 15. How can you lead upwards and downwards in your organization
  16. 16. Can be used to evaluate your employees, yourself as a leader and your decision makers and even your organization and industry The ladder of competence Not aware of a skill you lack Aware that you lack a skill Confident with the skill So skilled that you do things without having to think about it Unconsciously incompetent Consciously incompetent Consciously competent Unconsciously competent
  17. 17. How can I best help this person? The best question you can ask yourself
  18. 18. How can you inspire decision makers to support your project?
  19. 19. The hard core arguments:  Make a convincing business case - the big bucks The competitive arguments:  Benchmark against core competitors The innovative arguments:  Show first-mover features or even disruptiveness The emotional arguments:  Show quotes from customers being dissatisfied with your site The exhausting arguments:  Make a detailed report with all the arguments Examples of ways to convince decision makers
  20. 20. How can you nurture the organizational involvement in your project? without compromising the project team’s ability to create optimal solutions?
  21. 21. Align expectations
  22. 22. The user of the website is the boss
  23. 23. Always ask your colleagues to be customer-centric
  24. 24. Make a wish list on the intranet
  25. 25. User journeys construction & validation Make idea generation workshops
  26. 26. The website production
  27. 27. The road leading to successful innovative website development Success How people think you achieve success Success How you in reality achieve success
  28. 28. Intensive development periods every 3 – 5 years Strategies to work with website development cycles Workload Time
  29. 29. Ideally a more stable development level Strategies to work with website development cycles Workload Time Workload Ideal workload
  30. 30. Chosen development strategy: Stepwise implementation with 20 launches Analyze ImplementationTest
  31. 31. How can you reach an agreement, when several decision makers are involved?
  32. 32. 32 "The things that matter most must never be slaves to the things that matter least." Goethe EFFORTS RESULTS Prioritize
  33. 33. Example 1 Little effect Major effect High costs Eliminate it Consider it Low costs Consider it Do it at once
  34. 34. 1. Determine your criteria and rating scales 2. Establish criteria weights 3. Create the matrix 4. Work in teams to score the projects Example 2 Prioritization Matrix
  35. 35. Let’s investigate the collective knowledgebase about digital leadership in this room
  36. 36. Share your best practice examples plus tips & tricks about digital leadership What are your experiences with digital leadership?
  37. 37. Questions & thank you

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