Who Do You Want To Be In The Digital Era?


10thnov-1 My former blog was about the importance of Rocket projects to support the digital transformation of an organization. Rocket projects help to make customers and employees see and feel that an organization is heading for a new identity. But what if that identity is not clear? What if an organization doesn’t have a clear view on their role in the ever changing digital era?

I have been speaking at a lot at different organizations lately about this and it occurs to me that many organizations do not have a clear vision or lack awareness.

Defining the “New Us”is indeed difficult since it is about the future. And it is often outside the comfort zone. Imagine you are a bank, how would you deal with crowdfunding, bitcoin and blockchain? Or as a telecom organization, how to deal with Internet of Things? Or as a logistics organization, how to deal with 3D-printing? If you are a retailer, how to deal with the share economy? If you are a university, how to deal with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)?

Getting inspired by the new world is easy, making choices is not.

As a business analyst,  I see the following three instruments as very helpful in identifying who you want to be as an organization in the digital era:

10thnov-2Business Model Canvas
A business Model Canvas is not new but still an extremely helpful instrument for determining future value propositions and business models. Since new technology tends to have impact on organizational boundaries and business models, the value of the Business Model Canvas is bigger than ever.

Value Chains and Transactions
When determining the “New Us”, it is not enough to just look at your own organization. It is the complete value chain which is open for disruption. Internet of Things for example, literally connects organizations which were not connected before. Making this visible in terms of value chains and transactions helps to understand the changing value chains and determine the position of your organization within it.

Business Story Telling

Business Model Canvas and Value Chains are 10thnov-3about the hard facts but Business Story Telling makes the “New Us” human. And that is what it’s all about in the end. Business stories can be used to find out the “New Us”. What is the strength of our organization? What is it that we are proud of? What is it that unites us?

Furthermore, it can be used to communicate the “New Us” within the organization. Good business stories tend to have much more impact on people than a carefully formulated vision statement.  I am convinced that the strength of these instruments is in using them in combination. Together, they can help to determine who you want to be in the digital era and make sure people are aware.

André Helderman


André Helderman has studied both Business Information Technology and Organizational Sociology which makes clear that he is interested in the impact of technology on human behavior.

More on André Helderman.

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  1. Jaap Bloem November 14, 2015 Reply

    simplicity rules – AND – that’s what i like !