Most companies need help with pivoting to a new business model and that usually means help from outside the four walls of the corporate headquarters. Sometimes companies have a vague sense of an action they'd like to take such as bringing in a chief digital officer and they may approach an outside expert with that concept.
Often such companies find that they must address the challenges at a more fundamental level. They find they need to assess their talent, perhaps do an event (such as a "digital boot camp") to educate the works force and create a sense of urgency. They then begin to brainstorm, to assess where their executives and board stand with respect to digital awareness, and a plan of action takes shape. But, at the beginning, many companies that are aware of the pressing need to become digitally savvy do not know how to proceed.
“I know we said we’re serious," says the senior manager, "but I’m not going to bring in a 'digital native' board member right now. That would upset the apple cart. Let’s stick to our own level.” It is all too common for executives faced with the need to change, and who think they want to make the pivot, to then be unwilling to commit to what it takes to accomplish it.
They want to be able to go to their board, or to the press, and announce that the company hired a chief digital officer. But a little digging discovers that the new CDO is buried four levels down in the company, reporting to the head of marketing, and nothing really changes. One of the biggest pitfalls is this halfway approach, and this is especially the case when the initiative to become more digitally aware is not a board- or CEO-driven initiative.
You don’t want to destabilize what's working for your company. You want to incubate a new digital business model, or open up new revenue stream, that will be successful. If you are just adding a new revenue stream, then your company should be happy with that. But both your older and newer businesses need to be developing and growing. Any significant capital outlays should, of course, go through a process of vetting, like any other initiative. But if you’re vetting an idea in a digitally aware environment, then the better ideas are more likely to get through the screen.