Best behaviour

Among esteemed company at last year's HDA15
In the last two years I've been spending less time writing awards submissions. Part of this is due to a change in focus of my role. My remit is now to be focused on providing leadership and training to the wider business. This means our priority is not external campaigns and lead generation, but instead improving the value and reach of the brand and assisting the bid teams to win work. My team also has an increased emphasis on managing the brand - which is our biggest asset.

I have also seen a marked change in the awards judging. We were very proud to be highly commended at the Construction Marketing Awards last December but were conspicuous in that we were the only in house team not flanked by an agency. Being such a large company we do not have the luxury of emerging start-ups. They can easily implement a 'digital first' mentality with lean processes across relatively flat structures.

Last year a personal highlight was winning a silver at the Hertfordshire Digital Awards for this blog. Rather than having to write an in depth submission the criteria for entering these awards are much less arduous and time consuming. Instead, it relies on the work to speak for itself. This is why I'm very proud to be shortlisted again in the same category. I'm looking forward to the outcome at the University of Hertfordshire on 22nd September.  I'm yet to decide if I can attend given that it's five days before the due date of my fourth child and I'm also due in Manchester that day!

With award submissions, I always like to ensure that I am as honest as possible with the positive and negative aspects of any campaign or project. For example, I often find that digital acts as a catalyst to uncover a whole host of problems that have plagued business for a long time: organisational silos, legacy technology, inconsistent leadership and strategy, stifled innovation, the list goes on...

With my award submissions, I like to present a view of a company that has digital transformation at the heart. We are working to solve these complex problems. However, as we try to promote a customer-centric vision with increased innovation and profitability it needs to be remembered that businesses are made up of, and managed by, people. Getting these people to work together strategically will ensure that more is achieved than by just introducing some new piece of technology.

Modern day David Vs. Goliath
Within Marketing, it's easy to prove that we are progressing and implementing business transformation. The hard part is instilling radical digital changes to the entire culture and people. Digital transformation needs to take place from the board down. Simply showing how one or two departments (e.g. Marketing and IT) are transforming our working practices is not enough. Functions such as Finance and HR need to understand the need for investment into new digital products and that they are capable of recruiting for new, specific, technical roles.

We need to prove that we are different from many large companies and show the high level of support on offer to manage change as an ongoing investment. Without this there will be no evidence of individual incentives to support change. People are in jobs they've worked up to and are comfortable with. Why would they take a risk on new things and put their current position in danger of being superfluous?

This is the commitment which we need to showcase both internally and externally. It's a scary proposition but a lot less so than a gradual slow decline! In fact, to further prove that I like to keep developing a better way of working by utilising digital tools this is my first post written using 'Hemingway App'. This is an excellent online resource to help assist and simplify your writing style. Even at 38 years old it's never too late to adopt some new behaviours!

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