Digital or more rightly known as Digital business, is the latest trend in every sector. Digital is aiding in the creation of new businesses by blurring the boundaries of physical and digital worlds. This promises to usher in an unmatched convergence of people, business and stuff that disrupts existing business models. Digital like a magic wand has given unprecedented powers to start-ups by means of which they are challenging established businesses across the globe, triggering discussions & actions around it.

Businesses are taking concrete steps in this direction from allocating budgets to recalibrating strategies and partnerships. Businesses now want to get into this movement before it is too late.

Either by will or under evolving market dynamics, this journey must start. As with any new journey into unchartered waters, this too has its own set of surprises in store. With no one in this journey holding a compass showing north, even the pioneers on this endeavour are constantly exploring & altering their paths. Each one of them is on a different route but with the same objective and destination of being digital. Even the organizations which are about to start their journey are not too sure of what they need to carry and what expertise their crew should possess for sailing them towards their goal. Then there are those on the shores observing all of this happen while trying to draft a safe route. After being a part of this journey of being 100% digital and sailing this boat, I have noticed that the most common thing overlooked by people driving this transformation revolves around emotion.

It is the emotion of attachment, to the charisma of getting things done the old way, which deters setting up the sail. Strength of this emotion is so evident that it puts every other thought going against it in bad light, making the overall journey towards digital slow & edgy. Organizations like ours have gone beyond this emotion. Moreover, strong emotions cannot be suppressed; they need to be over-powered by equally strong emotion. I was fortunate enough to be a part of several such journeys. The differentiator I have found in one of our cases was innovation and the joy it brings. The fun part was that everyone on our boat wanted to explore & learn. The most important thing we figured out in our journey towards digital is that you cannot become digital as is.

This change is what is driving others crazy and hindering their journey towards digital. Adapting to change is not a one go solution but it is an evolution similar to the one witnessed by the industry when computers were brought in to the mainstream. We have handled this emotion of evolution with a systematic process. It is an outcome of our experiences while traversing this path, which is full of twists and turns.

The three key components of any digital journey are-

  1. Stacking the ship and choosing the right map
  2. Facing the storm and keeping up the enthusiasm
  3. Finding Nirvana

I will be talking about each of these components & experiences in detail, in my next blog- Digital Seafarers Diary- Part 2.

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Posted by Vaibhav Rastogi

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