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  • Marc Warburton

How good are my people's Digital Skills?


Brilliant! Of course they are.

Rubbish! Surely not.

Somewhere in between! Could be.


Do you actually know?


{Scroll down to bottom of blog for how to answer or read intervening paragraphs if you wish}.


If you're anything like the rest of the CPG world just now, then you're somewhere in between locking down your 2018 year end and getting ready for 2019; if so then I sincerely hope things are nicely set for a bumper Christmas chez-vous.


If you're also like those businesses in another way, then there's one topic which is getting A LOT of focus in your business right now: Digital Skills (or Digital Capability if you prefer).

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A few sweeping generalisations:

1) Your business has got a dedicated digital bod/s who is the go to guru for all matters broken photo copier to Data Driven Marketing related.

2) You've spent some money 'on digital' this year and someone in your business is convinced it didn't work; or maybe digital budget gets much more scrutiny than non digital budget; or maybe everyone has forgotten that your online activity influences between 30 & 50% of your offline sales; (or insert any other annual planning meeting digital discussion point here: __________ )

3) The rest of your business is way too busy to really think about digital because the rest of your business isn't growing quite as well as it needs to, and see point 1) above anyhow.

4) Digital is the future (apparently), so we need to think seriously about it again next year.

Sound familiar? Possible conclusion: we need a Digital Skills plan.


So what do we do?


Stop; breathe; pat yourself on the digital back. Re-read points 1) & 4) above and also feel happy that you've probably got some nice digital stuff already in your business anyhow. So at least you're doing something. Great!


Well maybe 'good start' would be more appropriate.


A lot of folk - right now - are wrestling with how to improve Digital Skills across their whole organisation, and that's really not something you can 'do' as a light lunch. Over the last few years of 'doing digital' in businesses like yours, here's a few things we've picked up that might be helpful to know :


1) There isn't a 'one size fits all' solution to improve Digital Capability in your business. I know a lot of people have bought into nicely packaged e learning based solutions; some are even still using them after the initial three line whip box ticking exercise came to end. Or actually, are they?

2) Your Senior Leaders, Middle Managers and Individual Contributors all have different levels of knowledge, have different requirements, different levels of engagement with the digital world.

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Learning Intervention list break:

Have you ever heard the expression 'Marzipan Layer'? This was what we called the level between C Suite and Middle Managers/ ICs in a previous business who (shock horror!) didn't fully get 'digital'. However they were instrumental in driving business success digitally demanded by the icing, whilst being digitally exposed by the fruit cake. Hopefully you're still with me...

List continues

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3) It's not all about e learning, it's not all about workshops, it's not all about objectives. It's not all about one single thing.

What it is all about is having a properly thought through and joined up approach to learning, that includes such wonderful things as 'Learning Journeys', 'Manager Support', '70, 20, 10', 'Digital Competencies', 'Blended Solutions' et digital cetera

And maybe if appropriate, if it's folded into a wider transformational agenda then even better... (or is that for 2019?).


When it comes to Capability, your business cannot 'go digital' overnight, or even over-year for that matter. Unless it is some wonderfully Agile, genuinely flexible, bureaucratically light anti-behemoth of a very funky place to work then you're going to need more than a simple training solution; but don't worry you're not alone.


If you want to get this Digital Capability egg cracked, then you need to start with some proper conversations about your organisation's culture, its digital ambitions, the kind of learning that works for you and so forth. Only after this reach for the electronic chequebook and start thinking about commissioning programmes that might be right for you.


And to the very question that started the blog: How good are my people's digital skills?


Answer: to find out, benchmark them against a really robust database of CPG and other verticals to get a comprehensive perspective that will actually drive your digital dollar long time.


If you want to try that option then please drop me a line and I'll introduce you to (some of) my BFFs.

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