26 Oct

Digital Transformation Strategy

I will not bore you with another post on what is digital transformation or digital transformation strategy. 
“The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing.”
-Douglas Engelbart

Let me help you answer the question: How to build digital transformation strategy?

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation (source: http://cpicon.com/)

One of common perceptions about digital transformation is that it is all about technology. Technology is the biggest enabler but not the only ingredient for digital transformation. Digital transformation brings huge change to people and processes that organization has adopted. Change is the biggest challenge that can derail digital transformation. Digital transformation strategy should ensure enough investment into change management.
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”
– Nathaniel Branden

4 key pillars of digital transformation strategy:

  1. People
  2. Technology
  3. Projects
  4. Processes


The first question that needs to be addressed well is how it will impact all stakeholders. Based on the impact build training programs to enable your workforce with skills that are required in the new environment. Ensure that the organization adopts the vision and goals of digital transformation. You may bring in fresh digital talent that can help you strike a balance between knowing your business and knowing digital.


I assume you already understand it well. Few recommendations:
  • Buying technology is not step #1
  • Buy technology once you are sure about condition of success for that technology
  • Your team and stakeholders should have control in selecting technology.


Before bringing in technology and enabling your workforce, digital transformation strategy should enlist projects that bring digital investment into life. Some of the high level categories that you should definitely focus on are:
  1. Understanding the customer and their journey: Customer journey is no more a vertical funnel. It is complex and convoluted due the digital age, many devices and channels. Better Customer Experience leads to better business conversions.
  2. Increasing conversion: For Marketing it can be creating more revenue or sales enablement, for HR it could be increasing quality resume submissions etc.


Digital transformation is not only applicable to your customer. Digital transformation should also enable your own workforce by digitizing the processes. This can ensure huge cost savings due to efficiencies, collaboration and reuse. Digital transformation strategy should also promote agile methodologies as it helps improving productive.
02 Sep

Leader, take your vitamins first!


Today morning life gave me an opportunity to be a better leader. I learnt a lesson from my son that I will always apply to become a better leader. My 7 yr old son has been a very healthy eater since he started eating.  Lately he turned into being a picky eater, not interested in eating kids vitamins and no more love for protein shakes ( being vegetarian, shakes are the biggest source of protein for us).

Something has definitely changed! He used to love taking protein shake for lunch with his food, take his vitamins without being asked and eat almost everything that was cooked in home. Me and my wife had many conversations with him and we used many techniques to put him back into his healthy habits. All convincing has not been working since last 1 year.

Today morning, I was shocked! My son was almost ready to eat his favorite cereal and then he gets up to grab his vitamins without being asked. Day before he asked for a protein shake/smoothie when he returned from school. Since last few days he is no more a picky eater to a good extent. I have been trying to understand what is making him change especially when neither me or my wife have convinced him in last few weeks.

Actually it is me who has changed!

My son has been watching and being influenced by the change I have brought in my life. Since last few weeks I have started exercising daily, taking my vitamins and eating healthy food.  Actually I have been “Walking the walk” or “leading by example” or…… In last few weeks he has seen me drinking protein shakes. When he got up for taking his vitamins he saw me taking my vitamins with my breakfast. Finally I am practicing and not preaching and that is the change.

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” – Mahatma Gandhi

This is how we really influence our teams/organizations/families/society. Knowingly or unknowingly everything we DO (and not say) is what is really replicated. One question that has not left my mind since then, do I lead my team/organization/family/… By walking the walk?

As leaders if we expect accountability we are the ones who should be accountable to our teams first. If we expect an extra effort from our team we are the ones who always have to go an extra mile. If we expect loyalty then we should be the most loyal to our teams, and the list goes on….

I hope you are a leader like that!

“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” ~ Thomas J. Watson, Former Chairman of IBM

26 Nov

Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving 2015

With a limited understanding of Thanksgiving, all I know it is about being Grateful and celebrating it with food (especially Turkey). Grateful to everybody who has contributed to your life in the preceding year. Being a vegetarian I am not going to eat Turkey but I can still be grateful to everyone who has helped me.


From the day I started thinking about my career until today there are so many family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and unknowns who helped me become a better person.  Since last many years I wanted to write this post and show my gratitude to everyone who has helped me directly or indirectly. Finally here is my grateful list (besides my awesome family) with names of many who helped me this year and during many previous years:

  • Puneet Rampall for influencing and helping me learn computers. You are the reason why I am in technology today (all for good).
  • Sanjay Kohli for believing in me and getting me my big break.
  • Anoop Jain for teaching me technology properly and helping me become confident in Java.
  • Inder Pal Singh for being that awesome friend and colleague. I have always looked at you as a colleague who knows better than me but still willing to teach me.
  • Manish Verma for being my first career mentor. You always nurtured me and brought the best out of me. Even in the times when I deleted the entire demo code during the demo 🙂 you still never lost confidence in me.
  • Dinesh Pandey for taking me to new levels of technology and always treating me first class.
  • Parveen Deswal for being an awesome friend in the new country. I remember the days when we all used to go out to see the fall colors in the tri-state area.
  • Gerry Glynn for teaching me Sales especially how to have a Customer-First mindset.
  • Michelle Bowen for believing in me.
  • Prakash Khatri for being a manager and a great friend especially during the toughest times of my life.
  • Sheryl Pattek for helping me understand why being obsessed about customer is most important.
  • Scott Brinker for being that indirect coach who helped me understand and navigate the world of Marketing Technology through your super active blog.
  • Saad Hameed for all the lunch, learn and walk meetings at LinkedIn on the topics of Marketing Technology
  • Tracy Thomsic for always pushing me hard and helping me get the best out of me
  • Nicole Vadas for helping me understand McKesson, always listening to me and guiding me properly.
  • Andy Burtis for always sharing your vision, believing in my vision and allowing me to work on it. Most importantly for mentoring me all these years!
  • Jeff Stalcup for helping me become better with communications and especially the presentations. I am a fan of your 5X5 rule.
  • Kris Fortner for always motivating and tips to handle organizational change.
  • Jennifer Otto for helping me understand the “Grand Mother Rule” in communication.
  • Michael Davis for being a firm supporter and a co-pilot for crazy digital ideas.
  • Charles Shimooka for always being honest with your feedback and help me understand different perspectives.
  • Omar Al-Sinjari  for being my sounding board where I can test my ideas and get great feedback.
  • Ulli Muenker for all your help improving my presentations.
  • Andrew Hecht for helping me become better in pronouncing many words as per American English.
  • Drew Vecchione for supporting me on many tough decisions.
  • Mark Ryan for always helping me prove the case for Digital and continued support to keep the stakeholders engaged with awesome data.
  • To everyone else who I missed to mention. I apologize that I forgot to mention you here but you know I truly value your contribution.

 Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all with continue helping me become a better person next year too.

01 May

Problem solving needs Common sense, more than intelligence

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense. – Thomas A. Edison

My recent experience helped me understand that it takes common sense; more than intelligence to create best solution in every situation.

My son goes to kindergarten and the entrance is through an enclosure. We all drop and pick the kids at this enclosure. The enclosure has a big door on the fence, which is open using a door stopper only during the time of drop and pickup.

The door stopper went missing few days ago. As a makeshift stopper we have been using one of the kick ball to stop the door from closing.

Normal Solution
Today was very different as it is very windy here. I went to pick up my son and I was the first one to be at the door. once the staff opened the gate, I was holding it to let others get in. Once I was done it was time to put the kick ball as stopper (remember the door stopper went missing). I kept the kick ball at the normal position but the wind pushed the door and the ball went away, closing the door. I again opened it and put the ball back, wind wasted my effort again.
Here comes another person ( seems like an engineer like me) and puts the kick ball tightly again. Again blew the wind and there went the ball, closing the door. 

During all this time a grand mother was watching us (the smart professionals).  This time she pitched in, picked the ball and put it at another spot where the door shuts. Wind blew again and again and again, but the door was left open this time.

Smart Solution
I watched this to my amazement and kept thinking about this. More I think more I want to remember that it takes common sense to create great solutions.

We were too focused to do it the way we have been doing since many days. We forgot our main goal to keep the door from locking. The goal was never to keep the door wide open. A person with a common sense walks in and finds a solution that is perfect for the need.

28 Aug

Social Business

Social business represents a significant transformational opportunity for organizations. Many companies, after initial forays into external social media, are now realizing the value of applying social approaches, internally as well as externally. Social business can create valued customer experiences, increase workforce productivity and effectiveness and accelerate innovation. But many companies still wrestle with the
organizational and cultural challenges posed by these new ways of work. A new IBM Institute for Business Value study, based on responses from more than 1,100 individuals and interviews with more than two dozen executives from leading organizations, reveals how organizations can use social approaches to create meaningful business value.

-IBM Institute for Business Value

Getting your 100,000th “Like” on Facebook, or having your latest pearl of wisdom retweeted 200 times  is all well and good, but are these activities driving revenue? attracting talent and bridging the collaboration gaps in your organization? Is your use of social media allowing your organization to engage with the right customers, improve their online experience and tap into their latest insights and ideas? Does your social approach
provide your customer-facing representatives with the ability to search the globe for expertise or apply learnings?

These are some of the questions worth thinking.