Leaders eat, but laggards are meat. What do lean, nimble predators understand that large lumbering prey ignore? In the world of business the thick black line between life and death can be summed up in two simple words: technology and training.

That’s the finding of a piece of research by KPMG called “Harnessing disruption for growth” and which was summarised by Social Selling Labs in this week’s most popular piece of digital transformation social chit chat.

Each week Which-50 and KINSHIP digital study the global social stream to identify most influential social chatter on digital disruption and transformation. This week there were just over 22,000 mentions of the terms we track — which is a surprisingly strong level of activity this close to Christmas.

Social Selling Labs linked to a blog and infographic summarising the KPMG study. In the blog, by Daniel Ku, the author notes that the most successful companies learn to adapt and turn technological challenges into opportunities. 

But how are they doing this? They’re harnessing disruption for growth through technology and training. 39% of the fastest growing companies are investing heavily in technology and 34% in training talent.

The KPMG study suggests that trailblazing companies adopt a three-pronged approach where they deploy technology for better agility, retrain their employees and have also managed to solidify company culture in a way that delivers a decisive competitive advantage.

What are the leaders doing better than the laggards when it comes to digital disruption
What are the leaders doing better than the laggards when it comes to digital disruption?

The report also notes that market leaders tend to define industry disrupters as opportunities while laggards identify the same factors as challenges.

Follow the money

Also popular this week, a tweet from Forbes on the impact of digital disruption on personal finances. The tweet links to an article by Janet Novack in which she notes “Just as Amazon changed the way we shop and Apple AAPL -2.86% reinvented the music biz, digital disruption is going to soon affect every aspect of your money: how you earn it, save it, invest it and spend it.

The piece is essentially an introduction to Forbes’s FinTech 50 feature — basically a gallery listing 50 hot FinTech up and comers.

Social Selling Labs actually scored a second hit this week looking at marketing vs sales enablement and asking who fosters digital transformation? This pushes through to a blog by Jamie Shanks — humbly described as a world leading Social Selling expert — who argues that in world-class organisations, digital transformation should be the role of a sales enablement department (known to the rest of us as marketing).

Who Fosters Digital Transformation?
Who Fosters Digital Transformation?

OK, given the nature of his company he does have a slight vested interest in this line of argument. But let’s hear him out.

Shanks argues that marketing can teach sales professionals to:

  • Get aligned to the same buyer’s journey. You’re all on one team, called the revenue team, and together, you look at a buyer’s journey from beginning to end—from when they first read a blog to when they become a client.
  • Create a roadmap of digital assets (intellectual property and insights). This is an opportunity to develop an editorial calendar and roadmap the type of content that you want to build as an organization to shape that buyer’s journey. Marketing can then organize the content into two libraries—a public facing library, and an internal library for the sales professional to take content and share with customers on a one-on-one basis.
  • Distribute that content. Once you’ve created the content, you need to distribute it, and get it into the hands of the right buyers.

Of course the mistake Shanks and others offering the same advice often make is to conflate marketing transformation with organisational transformation. But the former is merely a subset of the later. No point selling all those extra widgets Jamie, if you can’t get the trucks from the warehouse to the showroom, for instance.

Many company leaders have started to appreciate that marketing has co-opted the digital conversation  over the last few years and there seems to be a growing trend to wrest control of it back to the full leadership team.

3D printing

Finally, Sandeep Raut’s blog about digital transformation and 3D printing also proved a winner with the Chatterati. It is a short and simple piece, but surprisingly useful nonetheless.

Among the current uses for 3D printing:

  • Medical — Bionic ear, skin grafts, prosthetic limbs;
  • Military — weapon and arms manufacturing;
  • Engineering — various spare parts, cell phone displays, fuel injectors;
  • Manufacturing — items can be printed as required, JIT inventory;
  • Food — Edible object printing.

And he reveals that “Research is going on for 4D printing — which is 3D printing with smart ink that allows printed objects to change shape or colours like shown in the movie Transformers.”

About the authors

The Chatter Report, by KINSHIP digital CEO Mike Green and Which-50’s Andrew Birmingham, is a collaborative program run under the auspices of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Membership fees apply.



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