Digital DNA – Where is dolly when you need her?

Getting a company to become “Digital” is currently the most prized performance enhancement available.  But how do you find the right people? What is the DNA you should be looking for? How many should you look for?  All questions CEOs and CDOs are asking this very moment.  But lets looks at it from a different angle, and before we decide who in the organisation we clone, lets look at what makes up a businesses Digital DNA.

  1. Digital DNA should be present, to some degree, in all staff members; from sales teams to marketing and through to technology leads,  the organisation as a whole needs to want to do things digitally or your fighting a loosing battle.
  2. You need to hire different people, who individually bring very different skill-sets to the organisation. Its no longer good enough to be a technology company.  This means you need people who can just think, people who design or artists, people who just do and just I mean just DO, you need all sorts to make it work.  This can sometimes be a strange leap for a classical technology house when senior managers are asked to sign-off recruitment funds for “creatives” – do it, it makes the difference.
  3. Culture, accepting failure and adopting a culture that doesn’t praise failure, but picks itself up and does it again.  This needs to be strong in all your people.  This entrepreneurial mindset is something the will drive the business forward. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
  4. A strong leader, not just a great person to work for, but a person who will make hard decisions for the company and take the appropriate risks at the appropriate time, protect the team when it doesn’t work and kick them when it should have worked.
  5. Innovative and exploitative.  People need to feel they can try things and test ideas without having to write the large reports or have a customer that wants it, importantly they have to have the technology that allow them to try.

So, who should you hire? bottom line……You can’t just make a single Digital Technologist, clone them like dolly the sheep, and have a winning business.  If you have identical people in the organisations – you have a problem, nothing new will happen and nothing will get done.  So hire what you currently don’t have and try it.  Maybe they will bring something new, maybe an idea, maybe just something they say, some insight that will make all your current shining stars, shine brighter! Give people the opportunity!

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