Video: Digital Fluency: Connecting the Dots of…

December 3rd, 2020

Digital Fluency: Connecting the Dots of Digital Transformation - Gary O’Brien



What is digital?

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customer expectation:

- high

- realtime

- anytime

- consistent

- total control

- constantly changing


- speed you need to make decisions

- speed you need to get things into market

- speed of change

new & emerging technology




Companies that do this well.

Same characteristics


1) customer obsession

from customer perspective

"70% of our customers want a morgage"

> "I don't know anyone who wants a morgage, people want a home"

"sell more morgages" vs "put people in homes"


2) Business Outcome Orientation

align EVERYTHING to that

- org structures

- HR po

- legal & regulatory policies and guidelines

- funding models


optimise everything to maxi delivery of value to customers

- volume

- frequency


"cascades" or "cascading OKR"

0) Leader = sole responsibility to determine the outcome of the organisation

1) assign a single measure to it

2) put a group of people together, that have all the knowledge required to deliver you that outcome

3) they design the work to move the measure

4) they add a measure to that work


and then you do it again


starting with the work, adding a measure to it



piece of work = small piece of outcome

measure = leading indicator of the original measure


3) responsive to market shifts

ability to change

"stoppability" = the ability to pause

- should we keep going?

- are we achieving the outcome?


work in small chunks

smaller decisions


- smaller amounts of money

- smaller amounts of time

architecture capable of frequent change


4) a test & learn culture

"introspectiveness" = most important trait of a leader

stand up and say "I don't know"



100% certain that the thing you're gonna do will deliver the outcome

give them the money


in between: hypothesis testing

you have a tested idea

is it scalable?

is it profitable?


You don't know, but have a good idea

commit small amount of money, people, time ; let them find out


5) Strategic use of Information Assets

huge data plain

- make decisions

- add value (value added through data)

- new insight

- better understanding of customer


6) Structures & Governance

get rid of them

You can't operate at this pace, when you over-structure and over-govern

transparency & visibility in org that make decisions obvious

lightweight governance structures that allow

- decisions often

- decisions closest to the work

=> comes from alignment

when everyone knows what they should be doing, decisions become easy

with transparency & visibility, the decisions become obvious


7) Technology @ the code

minimum set of tech understanding that every business executive needs to have

language of tech into boardroom




How does an organisation adopt these?

not everyone needs everything at the max

not everyone needs to be netflix


Digital Fluency Model

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How do you adopt digital capabilities as an organisation


Aspirational: where do you want to be?


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your unique digital aspiration


sensible default investments you should make to reach this level


eg. platform strategy

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How do I do this?

What's next?

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Book: Digital Transformation Game Plan


"What does it take to actually transform the organisation"

1) simplify business model

2) what will stop you

3) minimum set of technology understanding needed as an executive

*) leadership traits