How to screw up a visual metaphor

By |2019-11-02T21:05:27+00:00November 2nd, 2019|Enterprise Architecture|

Maybe I’m a little sensitive to bad visual story metaphors.  I’ve certainly seen more than a few… but this one was professionally published and promoted.  We can learn from what the storyteller did wrong.

As many of you know, I worked with Martin Sykes and Mark West to co-author a book on visual storytelling.  It’s beautifully constructed, thanks to Mark, and provides a framework that Martin and I created called CAST that helps individual folks create their own compelling and interesting stories. It’s also given me a somewhat visceral reaction to visual stories done well, and stories done poorly.


Beware of Digital Officers who only know Marketing

By |2019-07-29T17:55:51+00:00July 29th, 2019|Enterprise Architecture|

This is a dangerous blog post. I’m a consultant and sometimes I come across a potential client who may recognize themselves here.

However, I hope this message guides good outcomes. It is a necessary yet sometimes painful message.

Digital Transformation is not just a marketing initiative

Dangerous words.

In many companies, the digital transformation project is led by a Digital Officer whose prior life was solely marketing. In those situations, it is often the case that the measures of transformation success are all about “customer loyalty” or a similar one-sided perspective.

I understand alignment. I understand it well. I’m a certified Balanced Scorecard Practitioner. I’ve created capability maps and Benefit Dependency Networks and Scorecards and Ishikawa diagrams for a dozen companies.

The places where digital transformation is LEAST successful are places where the measures of success boil down to a single customer measure.

That’s because digital transformation is about the customer, the product, and the company. Not just one. All three.

Data can be used to create new products and improve existing ones.

Process improvements can reduce the cost of goods as well as overhead in many ways, including technical automation and agile practices.

User Experience can change the relationship between the customer, the company, the (existing) product, and even upstream suppliers.

But your scorecard measure should reflect the balance of every aspect, not just customer attach (or loyalty, or satisfaction).

It’s not just marketing that is being transformed. It’s not just experience. It’s the whole show.

Or it’s not really transformation.