In a joint workshop with Twins Solutions and the Confederation of Danish Industry, leaders in small/midsize organizations were introduced to the NBI mapping and benchmarking tool. The NBI tool gives an overview of digital maturity and potential.
Two of our partners, DI (Confederation of Danish Industry) and Twins solutions, have been joining forces to help spread growth and digitalization for Danish companies. Most recently, Twins Solutions hosted a workshop at the MMV conference (Conference for small and mid-size companies) in Copenhagen in January 2016. Under the theme “The future is digital – Are you?” 55 leaders were introduced to the NBI ‘light’ mapping and benchmarking tool.
At NBI we have found workshops to be a very useful way of spreading the word about the NBI platforms, but this is the first time two of our partners have independently worked together to promote an NBI tool. DI is an association partner, while Twins is a consultancy partner, and we love that they are embracing the networked business spirit of sharing knowledge and creating value.
We spoke with Esben Hørning Spangsege, social media consultant at Twins Solutions, and Anja Skadkær Møller, consultant at DI digital, about their experiences with the event.
“The future is digital – are you?”
The conference, hosted by DI, included several workshops and lectures on digitalization. One of the goals was for the workshops to give hands-on advice and experience for the participants.
The workshop “Is your company taking advantage of digital opportunities?” was based on the NBI ‘light’ mapping tool. During this workshop, TWINS and DI were able to discuss the NBI project and the NBI mapping tool, as well as help guide 55 companies through the actual survey.
“Twins Solutions is one of our members [in DI digital, ed.], and we really like getting involved with our members. So since we already had a good relationship with Twins and their way of working with NBI, it was an ideal partnership for a hands-on workshop,” says Anja.
Esben, on the other hand, could draw on his long experience with NBI.
“We use the tool as a part of our general offer, and specifically when we work with strategy in order to give better advice and a better product for our clients. Also it’s a service to our clients – it’s a valuable tool when used correctly,” says Esben.
Digital maturity workshop
The NBI workshop was the one with the most signups, indicating that digital transformation remains a challenge for many organizations.
The participants had not been given a lot of information beforehand, so Esben started the workshop by introducing NBI, the mapping tool, and explaining why Twins Solutions finds the tool such a valuable resource in their work.
Then, 55 leaders participated in the “light’ version of the survey, with a focus on social media, web, marketing, service, and communication.
The light version is a preliminary analysis of a business, and is aimed mainly at small/mid-size businesses. Esben explains; “The light version just scrapes the surface, while the full service is much more comprehensive and gives both us and them [the companies, ed.] a deeper understanding. “
During the workshop, the participants were able to ask questions and discuss the tool with representatives from both Twins and DI. In 45 minutes, nearly everyone was able to complete the survey.
At the end of the workshop, Esben was able to show the joint results from the workshop. About 40 of the participating companies gave permission to share their data, and Esben was able to show this dashboard on a big screen.
After this, Esben presented an anonymous case from Twins solutions along with some data showing what the tool had meant for the specific company. Esben also presented some different relevant activities organizations could take on, based on the data from the tool.
Reactions: there’s no quick fix for digital transformation
While the general reactions from the workshop were positive, the participant’s reactions also confirmed just why it can be so hard to grasp digitalization. As Anja says: “It’s just very difficult to facilitate change”
“The general reaction was positive,” says Esben, “they know digitalization is important and they think it is very exciting…. but some of them find digitalization hard to grasp.”
However, it was difficult to create actual actionable insights during the workshop, not just due to time constraints, but also because of the complex subject matter: there is no quick fix for digital transformation.
The NBI tools provide an overview of digital maturity, but implementing actual solutions takes longer. Anja recommends the following metaphor for understanding the NBI tools: “It’s kind of like getting on a scale to determine if you’re overweight… it’s a long way from there, and to creating actual change.”
For Anja, this challenge is essential to overcome for the setup of NBI to make sense and create value:
“A lot of people found that the tool made sense, but they had a hard time figuring out how to move on from there – answers that were hard to provide in a workshop. And that’s where a consultant usually comes into the picture, and why the tool is usually offered through a partner (advisor, consultant, etc) who can drive the initiatives forward. And I think that part is really important. That ecosystem is essential for creating actual value with an NBI tool.”
Key lessons for partners interested in doing workshops:
- Allow plenty of time for discussion of results, debate, and “what to do from here”
- Don’t promise too much: there’s no quick fix, but this is a great starting point.
Key lessons for organizations using the NBI tool:
- Block off enough time for completing the entire survey
- Follow up with partners/providers: they can help you interpret results and figure out where to start
- Activate agents for change within your organization