BRC – Customer insight 2015
12th May 2015 – Leading the digital revolution with insight. Ajaz Ahmed, CEO, founder and chair, AKQA. AKQA is an ideas and innovation company with clients like Nike, Heineken and Microsoft founded by Ahmed in 1994.
Digital is not in the abstract – It’s like oxygen or electricity, it is vital to everyday life.
The life span of a Fortune 500 company in the 1950’s was 57 years; today it is no more than 17. So change is happening faster than ever before.
Change is the only constant and embracing that will enable businesses to endure. There has to limitless leadership, interesting and new things do not happen by looking backwards.
- Democratise – Nike democratised personal training through the smart phone App that provides professional level training.
- Simplify – Obsess with simplification, big used to beat small, fast will beat slow but simple will displace complex.
- Author – Behind every great story there is an author, but it has to be authentic and authoritative
- Revolutionary – Not just in core business, in every aspect of their business eg Apple relentlessly obsessed with being revolutionary. When you approach a member of staff in store, you can get advice and pay with that one person. It is still amazing not all retailers deliver this.
- Organise operational excellence – Poor organisations blame legacy systems. Great ones replace the system and obsess about doing that.
- Question everything – Question the how, why and what you do. Encourage employees to break the rules but that is counter to career building where it pays to play safe.
Nike’s vision is To bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world. Given everybody has a body and can be an athlete; they are really intending to innovate and inspire every one. To date, there have been 21 million downloads for the Nike app.
Everything that was once analogue will be digital; even basketball courts now have LED floors, mapping players movements – creating a multi-dimensional experience.
Big data and storytelling needs to be hit with one swift execution – an example of this is that 100,000 top Nike athletes were sent a personalised video made up of their training record, so each was made a hero. It is not always about ROI but about lots of experimentation, with unknown outcomes and allowing yourself to go where the users take you.
Keeping an external focus – businesses should think about what opportunity they are trying to unlock or which problem they are trying to solve. What memory do they want to create or what feeling are they trying to evoke in the the hearts and minds of their audience? The motivation for digitising any business should be to reduce steps in the process, simplifying things for people’s lives consequently making people happier.
What’s our capability to execute and deliver our strategy? The most powerful force in the universe is not technology, it is innovation
Christine de Largy, Managing Director of Impact Executives, experts in interim management, is passionate about the digital transformation of consumer businesses. She hosts a retail forum to facilitate debate around the issues retail businesses today face and also sits on the management and advisory boards of IORMA, the International Omni-channel Retail Markets Association.
About Impact Executives Ltd Impact Executives is a leading interim management provider to organisations of every size in the UK and globally. Originally formed as a specialist practice within PA Consulting Group, over the past 25 years Impact Executives has helped over 2000 companies, including more than two-thirds of the FTSE 250 – find the very best executive interim management talent.
Clients choose to work in partnership with Impact Executives because of our proven ability to offer client’s immediate solutions to improve their organisation’s performance through identifying skills-gaps, business process reengineering (BPR), turnaround, restructure and growth.
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