Why, what & how of Kaisen Digital
The why, what and how of Kaisen Digital
My coaching and consultancy business is called Kaisen Digital and I help organisations get ‘fit for online business’. But why did I call it ‘Kaisen’, what do I mean by ‘getting fit’ and why is it vital to the future of all businesses? Here’s why ……
Practical digital transformation for SMEs
Drawing on many years spent helping scores of SMEs (and some bigger beasts) to harness the online business opportunity, I developed and refined an approach to help leaders get their organisations in good shape to thrive in the digital world.
It’s a practical approach that focuses on the fundamentals - the things that really make a difference and help develop a digital-first culture at the heart of an organisation.
Moving beyond the online business basics
It sprang from my experience of seeing businesses miss growth opportunities by treating “digital” as a bit of a side-show. Many still think of it as just a website and some tactical marketing – stuff that can be simply outsourced to agencies, rather than something with the power to transform the way they do business every day.
Developing digital business capability within the organisation
“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near." Jack Welch
Most of all it grew from my belief that if companies didn’t have a clear plan on how they were going to improve their digital business capability from within, they would begin to go backwards. Many businesses have already felt the heat as new market entrants, who start from an online model, together with established competitors who are getting their digital business act together, start to eat into their market share.
Kaisen inspired by Kaizen
Kaisen isn’t Kaizen – my version, spelt with an ‘s’ , is focused on improving performance using modern digital business practices – but it is inspired by the Japanese manufacturing philosophy made famous by Toyota.
Kaizen means 'change for the better' and adapting to a digital-first business approach is certainly that. Good use of digital tools, techniques and processes can help business flow in a more predictable, measurable way that makes everyday activities easier, decisions simpler, co-ordination better and growth faster.
Kaizen means getting better all the time
“There is no one giant step that does it. It's a lot of little steps.” Peter A. Cohen
It also expresses the idea of 'continuous and incremental improvement'. That’s very relevant to today’s digital business environment too. Digital business is all about ongoing optimisation, discovering what works and what doesn’t so that you can focus budgets on winning channels and tactics.
So my Kaisen ‘get fit for online business’ approach is based on these simple but powerful ideas. It’s a call to action for businesses of all shapes and sizes to take positive and systematic steps to ‘change for the better’ and develop the capability to drive 'continuous and incremental improvement' within their business.
SMEs will always need to use agencies and other external expertise. But it’s only when the why, what and how of adapting to more digital ways of doing business are understood by everyone inside an organization that growth potential will be realised.
A healthier, happier and better performing organisation
The prize is great for those who do take action to create a modern, agile and relevant organisation, ready for the challenges of the modern business world. You create a place that is better to work with, better to buy from and better to work within. And that all adds up to bigger profits.
Of course shifting cultures and creating a genuine in-house capability to continuously improve takes a bit of work and know-how. No organisation spontaneously transforms overnight. But done right it doesn’t have to hurt and can in fact be an extremely energising process that leaves a business feeling better as well as performing better.
The Kaisen “fit for online business” approach
The Kaisen approach blends coaching and consultancy, focusing on the creation of a clear plan and roadmap for change that gets everybody pulling together. The objective is to introduce the tools and techniques, structures and skills, platforms and processes that will give a competitive edge in a digital market. The end product is a blueprint for digital business improvement, tailored to the specific needs of each organisation.
It can be used as a complete transformation programme or used step by step to evolve digital business capability. Above all it’s a real-world, practical and systematic way for SMEs to overcome the challenges and grab the opportunities for profit growth that getting better at online business can deliver.
Marketing and more
Sales and marketing are central – but the approach goes beyond those functions to ensure the whole organisation is aligned and working brilliantly together to attract and keep today's connected customers.
Over the next weeks and months I’ll be looking at some of the principles of my approach as well as sharing some of the many lessons I’ve learnt from 15 years of getting SMEs ‘fit for online business’.