When Will You Have Your Digital Maturity Conversation?


One conversation I believe all organizations need to have, or at least need to get ready for, is the digital maturity conversation. Think of it as the predictor of your future organizational health as the world of commerce is moving digital. 

What is Digital Maturity?

In short,  digital maturity is reaching the end state of having gone through a digital transformation, of putting technology at the core of all that you do.

We are all subjected to that process of digital transformation, whether we call it that or not. As consumers: How we become aware, how we choose, how we order, how we track, how we communicate our satisfaction–more and more elements of consumer behavior are being digitally empowered. As companies: How we assess demand, how we manage the supply chain, how we produce and deliver our goods, how we serve our customers–for most companies, digital capabilities are at the center of these activities.

Measuring Digital Maturity

So how can we gauge how we are doing? What is the equivalent of having our pulse, blood pressure, and cholesterol checked? As part of my work with the New North Business Intelligence Committee, we have been talking about conducting a survey that would help us assess how companies in the region are doing on digital maturity. We have some general insights from previous surveys, but they are not deep enough and they are not wide enough.

I began to create a tool, drawing on the lessons learned from existing assessments and identifying the key dimensions. My research suggested that we would have to include the following: (1) How a company deals with data, and what technology resources it has at its disposal, (2) how it is interfacing with customers, (3) how it is enabling internal and external processes through technology, (4) how it is developing a digitally focused culture, mindset, and talent approach, and (5) how all of that is reflected in strategy and leadership. 

So here we go. We can now create a powerful tool that will show us which companies are just getting started, which have emerging capabilities, which ones are already achieving results, and which ones are setting themselves apart through their digital capabilities.

We are, in fact, developing this tool and it may come to your inbox before long. But then it dawned on me. Sending out a survey and collecting the data will primarily be an “intelligence success”. That is our goal as a committee, but it cannot be our only goal. For each company, small or large, thinking about these dimensions of digital maturity is an opportunity for dialogue, for an honest conversation about organizational health and preparedness to maintain that health in a digital future. That conversation cannot be delegated to one person responding to a survey. It must be part of the leadership dialogue.  

Assessing Digital Maturity is a Leadership Dialogue

The most impactful health assessment I ever had was years ago when I had the opportunity to go through an “executive health check”. For half a day, I spoke to a doctor, a nutritionist, a fitness coach, and others, went through several tests and exercises. I ended up with an entire binder of data and practical recommendations. But more importantly, I ended up with the highest awareness about my health I had ever achieved, and I was able to translate that awareness into real action in the following year. It was not a routine “check the box and let’s get this over with unless something is wrong” type of exercise, but a “step back and really figure out what is going on” type of deal.  

We may feel that we don’t have the time to step back, especially not now. We may feel that it is too much of a commitment to get the key leaders of our organization into a room with experts to have this conversation. And frankly, we may not know how to get this conversation started and what all the things are we need to talk about. There are two keys to solving this conundrum. The willingness and time commitment must come from you. The approach and facilitation of the conversation can be brought in from the outside. It is no different from finally scheduling that health assessment and seeing your doctor. I just confirmed mine.

If you believe that it is time for your organization to proactively think about digital maturity, to plan for your future health, feel free to reach out to learn about tools and resources that can help you.


Contact us today to start your journey into the future.

If you are a company or organization that is looking for help with strategically positioning yourself, Advancing Digital can provide you with the tools and resources you need to succeed.

Privacy Policy