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Presentation skills and confidence are the keys to building consensus and cooperation across departments. So, which one of these 7 skills is most important for your property? How do you keep your competitive edge? Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide.
When Angela Ahrendts became CEO of Burberry, in , she took over a stalling business whose brand had become tarnished. But she saw what no one else could: Taking personal control of the digital agenda, she oversaw a series of groundbreaking initiatives, including a website ArtoftheTrench. Apple hired Ahrendts last October to head its retail business. Netflix was another brand with an unreasonably aspirational vision.
It had built a successful online DVD rental business, but leadership saw that the future of the industry would be in video streaming, not physical media. The management team saw how quickly broadband technology was evolving and made a strategic bet that placed it at the forefront of a surge in real-time entertainment. As the video-streaming market took off, Netflix quickly captured nearly a third of downstream video traffic. By the end of , Netflix had more than 40 million streaming subscribers.
Leadership teams must be realistic about the collective ability of their existing workforce. Leading companies frequently look to other industries to attract digital talent, because they understand that emphasizing skills over experience when hiring new talent is vital to success, at least in the early stages of transformation. The best people in digital product management or user-experience design may not work in your industry.
Tesco, the UK grocery retailer, made three significant digital acquisitions over a two-year span: The acquisitions enabled Tesco to quickly build up the skills it needed to move into digital media. In the United States, Verizon followed a similar path with strategic acquisitions that immediately bolstered its expertise in telematics Hughes Telematics in and cloud services CloudSwitch in , two markets that are growing at a rapid pace.
But we have observed that significant lateral hiring is required in the early stages of a transformation to create a pool of talent deep enough to execute against an ambitious digital agenda and plant the seeds for a new culture. A bank or retailer that acquires a five-person mobile-development firm and places it in the middle of its existing web operations is more likely to lose the team than to assimilate it. Digital talent must be nurtured differently, with its own working patterns, sandbox, and tools.
It was late to the e-commerce market as executives protected their booming physical-retail business. When it did step into the digital space, talent was disbursed throughout the business. Wal-Mart took ring fencing to the extreme, turning its e-commerce business into a separate vertical with its own profit and loss.
To deliver in an omnichannel world, where customers expect seamless integration of digital and analog channels, seamless internal integration should be the end goal. The leaders of incumbent companies must aggressively challenge the status quo rather than accepting historical norms. It is no coincidence that many textbook cases of companies redefining themselves come from Silicon Valley, the epicenter of digital disruption.
Digital leaders examine all aspects of their business—both customer-facing and back-office systems and processes, up and down the supply chain—for digitally driven innovation. In , car-rental company Hertz started to deploy self-service kiosks similar to those used by airlines for flight check-in. In , it leapfrogged airlines by moving to dual-screen kiosks—one screen to select rental options via touch screen, a second screen at eye level to communicate with a customer agent using real-time video.
We see digital leaders thinking expansively about partnerships to deliver new value-added experiences and services. This can mean alliances that span industry sectors, such as the Energy home partnership among Electrolux, Enel, Indesit, and Telecom Italia to create a communications platform for smart devices and domestic appliances. Rapid decision making is critical in a dynamic digital environment. Twelve-month product-release cycles are a relic.
What are they saying about you? Students and professionals who were once planning to start businesses now have decided to go back to their cushy jobs. Challenge yourself to test the principle of proactivity by doing the following: Periodic surveys are useful for this, depending on the size of the market. Start with a clear destination.
Continuous improvement requires continuous experimentation, along with a process for quickly responding to bits of information. The portal, which emphasizes projections over historical data, lets teams quickly identify issues, such as declining market share, and take steps to address the problems. Xpress, a US transportation company, collects data in real time from tens of thousands of sources, including in-vehicle sensors and geospatial systems. Using Apache Hadoop, an open-source tool set for data analysis, and real-time business-intelligence tools, U. Xpress has been able to extract game-changing insights about its fleet operations.
Many organizations focus their digital investments on customer-facing solutions. But they can extract just as much value, if not more, from investing in back-office functions that drive operational efficiencies. Investments in digital should not be spread haphazardly across the organization under the halo of experimentation. A variety of frequent testing is critical, but teams must quickly zero in on the digital investments that create the most value—and then double down.