Digital Transformation is a big subject here at BIO. But we're always keen to see what our peers think about digital and the transformation challenges they come up against.

A couple of weeks ago, we delivered a workshop for the Future London Academy during their Design Thinking & Innovation Week. Over 20 C-level delegates from 13 countries gathered at BIO to learn more about digital transformation. The workshop surfaced some pretty interesting solutions to the most common transformation blockers.

What does Digital Transformation mean for the FLA delegates?

We divided all delegates into three groups, each guided by one of BIO's experts. They were tasked with defining digital transformation, and outlining the transformation blockers they encounter within their own businesses.

In defining digital transformation our attendees described it as:

  • Brave,
  • Thoughtful and experimental
  • Collaborative
  • Positive friction
  • Strategic vision
  • Enduring change
  • Sustainable profitable growth.

We combined their definitions and come up with a more holistic view of what Digital Transformation is:


Key Challenges to Digital Transformation

Businesses face multiple challenges when implementing a digital transformation programme. Many are sector-specific, but together we identified a few universal challenges:


How to battle key transformation blockers

Digital transformation is no easy task and many businesses struggle to do it right. Millions are spent on flashy technologies, apps that don't do what’s needed or websites better suited to the Flash era. Each business has their own blockers preventing them from delivering real change. We dug a bit deeper to help the delegates approach potential blockers with the right strategy and tools. Having the above challenges in mind, we identified the following mitigation opportunities:

How we tackled transformation challenges for Greyhound

Greyhound is the biggest bus operator in America, but they suffered from low customer satisfaction. We needed to completely shift how Greyhound interacts with their consumers and change the role employees play in shaping the customer experience. To deliver true change, we had to fully understand the key factors behind their poor ratings. Using service design principles, we conducted an in-depth qualitative and quantitative research on a large sample of Greyhound's existing and potential customers… which often involved ride-alongs on Greyhound and competitor buses. We also spoke to many other stakeholders including terminal staff, drivers, the CEO, and the cleaners. Only with this in place could we make the recommendations that would make long-term impact on the business and transform their service.

For Greyhound, the nature of their service meant that they needed to change many aspects of their business in order to improve their service. Just upgrading the website wouldn’t cut it. The ‘product’ (the journeys themselves), the physical experience at bus stations – these were all coming together to affect the customer experience. Transformation – and full-service design – doesn’t happen overnight. But with our help, they’re now on the road to a better long-term future, for customers, for staff, and for the business.

Sharing transformation perspectives

Delivering this workshop was a great opportunity to share perspectives and experiences. We took the opportunity to draw on the collective insight from multiple sectors. For us, it confirmed our belief that – at a fundamental level – the right approaches to transformation are universal.