The Digital Mindset

The Digital Mindset Click to enlarge

25 Mar 2013

In this blog, I share my concerns that SME’s are not making a fast enough transition towards the implementation of digital skills. 

In 1998, it was obvious to me that the world would change massively with the Internet. Since then, the shift into digital excited me as it allowed start-ups and home working. These start-ups have started in a digital economy and they use social channels to communicate, digital technology to sell and market and digital processes to build their infrastructure.  Likewise, the young people we see starting businesses today, are lean, fast, innovative, digital and rely on the viral world of the social networks. 

But we are also seeing traditional businesses fail -  many that previously had strong legacy and brand loyalty, but who now are struggling to connect with the new consumer. It's not just retailers that are hurting - the business to business markets are also hurting. Knowledge is free now and ensuring you are part of that free sharing is critical so you can learn to “give your knowledge away but sell your expertise”.

Recently, we had the launch of Superfast Broadband in Surrey. An enormous project providing the region with the most inclusive Internet policy in the UK. I am thrilled to see that Surrey Connects, Enterprise M3 and the Chambers will work with SME’s who wish to embrace and transform in order to develop their business in the digital economy.

But my fear is that we are not fully equipped to drive on these roads and maximise the opportunity. I am not convinced we all have the mindset for digital.  I fear that rather than being open to new things and people – some remain closed and lack innovation.  Rather than having the digital systems  in our lives that enable us to accept the random nature of information flow, we continue to select and remain focused on our ‘old methods’, our old connections.  Rather than being supportive in our intent to one another, seeking to share and collaborate, (the culture of the social web), we continue to focus on controlling outcomes, people and markets.

I run a Surrey based SME. I rely on the economy to grow to ensure that businesses can invest in leadership development. If the economy does not embrace this Digital Revolution then I suffer, you suffer, we all suffer.  We all need to care about the economy growing, and I believe Digital Skills are critical to this growth.